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3  3433  08191715  9 


A 


Joiix  P.  Abthxjb. 


Western 
North  Carolina 


A  HISTORY 

(FROM   1730  TO   1913) 


BY 

JOHN  PRESTON  ARTHUR 


PUBLlSHtD  BY 

The  Edward  Buncombe  Chapter  of  the  Daughters  of  the 

American  Revolution,  of  Ashevllle,  N.  C. 


RALEIGH,  N.  C. 
Edwards  <fe  Broughton  Printing  Company!  »   «  »         ".    * 

1914 


)33l 


Copyright,  1924 
By  E.  H.  D.  Morrison 


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BIBLIOGRAPHY 

The  references  are  to  the  names  of  authors  or  works  as  follows: 

Allen:  means  "A  History  of  Haywood  County,"  by  W.  C.  Allen,  Waynes- 
ville,  1908. 

Asheville's  Centenary:  means  an  article  by  that  name  which  was  pub- 
lished in  the  Asheville  Citizen  in  February,  1898,  by  Foster  A. 
Sondley,  Esq.,  of  the  Asheville  Bar. 

Balsam  Groves:  means  "The  Balsam  Groves  of  the  Grandfather  Moun- 
tain," by  Shep.  M.  Dugger  of  Banner  Elk,  Watauga  county. 

Byrd:  means  the  "Writings  of  Col.  Wm.  Byrd  of  Westover,"  1901. 

Carolina  Mountains,  by  Margaret  W.  Morley,  1913 

Col.  Rec:  means  Colonial  and  State  Records  of  North  Carolina. 

Draper:  means  "Kings  Mountain  and  Its  Heroes,"  by  Dr.  L.  C.  Draper. 

Dropped  Stitches:  means  "Dropped  Stitches  in  Tennessee  History,"  by 
Hon.  John  Allison,  Nashville,  1896. 

Dugger:  means  "The  Balsam  Groves"  named  above. 

Fifth  Eth.  Rep.:  means  the  Fifth  Annual  Report  of  the  Bureau  of 
Ethnology,  1883-'84. 

Foote's  Sketches:  means  "Foote's  Sketches  of  North  Carolina." 

Hart:  means  "Formation  of  the  Union,"  by  A.  B.  Hart,  1901. 

Heart  of  the  Alleghanies:  means  a  work  of  that  name  by  Zeigler  &  Gross- 
cup,  1879. 

Herndon:  means  "Abraham  Lincoln,"  by  W.  H.  Herndon  and  J.  W. 
Weik,  1892.     Vol.  I. 

Kerr:  means  W.  C.  Kerr's  Report  of  the  Geological  Survey  of  North 
Carolina,  1875. 

McClure:  means  "The  Early  Life  of  Abraham  Lincoln,"  by  Ida  M. 
Tarbell,  1896. 

McGee:  means  "A  History  of  Tennessee,"  by  R.  G.  McGee,  American 
Book  Company,  1900. 

Nineteenth  Eth.  Rep.:  means  the  Nineteenth  Annual  Report  of  the 
Bureau  of  Ethnology,  1897. 

Polk:  means  "North  Carolina  Hand-Book,"  by  L.  L.  Polk,  1879, 
Raleigh. 

Ramsey:  means  "Annals  of  Tennessee,"  by  Dr.  J.  G.  Ramsey. 

Roosevelt:  means  "The  Winning  of  the  West,"  by  Theodore  Roose- 
velt, 1905,  Current  Literature  Publishing  Company. 

Tarbell:  means  "Life  of  Abraham  Lincoln,"  by  Ida  M.  Tarbell,  Vol.  I, 
1900. 

Thwaites:  means  "Daniel  Boone,"  by  Reuben  Gold  Thwaites. 

Waddell:  means  the  "Annals  of  Augusta  County,  Va.,  "  by  Joseph  A. 
Waddell,  1886,  or  the  second  volume,  1902. 

Wheeler:  means  "Historical  Sketches  of  North  Carolina,"  by  John  H. 
Wheeler,  1851. 

Woman's  Edition:  means  the  "Woman's  Edition  of  the  Asheville  Citi- 
zen," published  by  the  women  of  Asheville,  November  1895. 

Zeigler  &  Grosscup:  means  "The  Heart  of  the  Alleghanies,"  by  them,  1879. 

(5) 


CONTENTS 


Page 

Chapter  I — Introductory    7 

Chapter  II — Boundaries  18 

Chapter  III — Colonial  Days 60 

Chapter  IV — Daniel  Boone   79 

Chapter  V — Revolutionary  Days   96 

Chapter  VI— The  State  of  Franklin 113 

Chapter  VII — Grants  and  Litigation 131 

Chapter  VIII — County  History    143 

Chapter  IX — Pioneer  Preachers    215 

Chapter  X — Roads,  Stage  Coaches  and  Taverns 229 

Chapter  XI — Manners  and  Customs 248 

Chapter  XII — Extraordinary  Events   292 

Chapter  XIII — Humorous  and  Romantic  327 

Chapter  XIV— Duels   356 

Chapter  XV — Bench  and  Bar  373 

Chapter  XVI — Notable  Cases  and  Decisions  407 

Chapter  XVII — Schools  and  Colleges  420 

Chapter  XVIII — Newspapers    449 

Chapter  XIX — Swepson  and  Littlefield  457 

Chapter  XX — Railroads    469 

Chapter  XXI — Notable  Resorts  and  Improvements 491 

Chapter  XXII — Flora  and  Fauna  512 

Chapter  XXIII — Physical  Peculiarities  528 

Chapter  XXIV — Mineralogy  and  Geology 542 

Chapter  XXV — Mines  and  Mining 552 

Chapter  XXVI— The  Cherokees  566 

Chapter  XXVII— The  Civil  War  Period 600 

Chapter  XXVIII— Political   628 

Appendix    652 

Index   659 


WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

A  HISTORY 


CHAPTER  I 
INTRODUCTORY 

Our  Lordly  Domain.  Lying  between  the  Blue  Ridge  on 
the  East  and  the  Iron,  Great  Smoky  and  Unaka  mountains 
on  the  West,  is,  in  North  Carolina,  a  lordly  domain.  It 
varies  in  width  from  about  forty  miles  at  the  Virginia  line  to 
about  seventy-five  when  it  reaches  Georgia  on  the  Southerly 
side.  Running  Northeast  and  Southwest  it  borders  the  State 
of  Tennessee  on  the  West  for  about  two  hundred  and  thirty 
miles,  following  the  meanderings  of  the  mountain  tops,  and 
embraces  approximately  eight  thousand  square  miles.  No- 
where within  that  entire  area  is  there  a  tract  of  level  land 
one  thousand  acres  in  extent;  for  the  mountains  are  every- 
where, except  in  places  where  a  limpid  stream  has,  after  ages 
of  erosion,  eaten  out  of  the  hills  a  narrow  valley.  Between 
the  Grandfather  on  the  east  and  the  Roan  on  the  west,  the 
distance  in  a  straight  line  is  less  than  twenty  miles,  while 
from  Melrose  mountain,  just  west  of  Try  on,  to  the  corner  of 
North  Carolina,  Georgia  and  Tennessee,  is  over  one  hundred 
and  fifty  miles. 

The  Appalachians.  According  to  the  Smithsonian  Insti- 
tution, the  name  Alleghany  is  from  the  language  of  the  Dela- 
ware Indians,  and  signifies  a  fine  or  navigable  river.  l  It  is 
sometimes  applied  to  the  mountain  ranges  in  the  eastern  part 
of  the  United  States,  but  the  Appalachians,  first  applied  by 
De  Soto  to  the  whole  system,  is  preferred  by  geographers. 2 

The  Grandfather  Mountain.  The  Blue  Ridge  reaches 
its  culmination  in  this  hoary  pile,  with  its  five-peaked  crown 
of  archsean  rocks,  and  nearly  six  thousand  feet  of  elevation. 

(7) 


HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 


Of  this  mountain  the  following  lines  were  written  in  1898: 

TO  THE  GRANDFATHER  MOUNTAIN.  3 

Oldest  of  all  terrestrial  things — still  holding 

Thy  wrinkled  forehead  high; 
Whose  every  seam,  earth's  history  enfolding, 

Grim  Science  doth  defy — 
Teach  me  the  lesson  of  the  world-old  story, 

Deep  in  thy  bosom  hid; 
Read  me  thy  riddles  that  were  old  and  hoary 

Ere  Sphinx  and  Pyramid! 
Thou  saw'st  the  birth  of  that  abstraction 

Which  men  have  christened  Time; 
Thou  saw'st  the  dead  world  wake  to  life  and  action 

Far  in  thy  early  prime; 
Thou  caught'st  the  far  faint  ray  from  Sirius  rising, 

When  through  space  first  was  hurled, 
The  primal  gloom  of  ancient  voids  surprising, 

This  atom,  called  the  World! 
Gray  was  thy  head  ere  Steam  or  Sail  or  Traffic 

Had  waked  the  soul  of  Gain, 
Or  reed  or  string  had  made  the  air  seraphic 

With  Music's  magic  strain! 
Thy  cheek  had  kindled  with  the  crimsoned  blushes 

Of  myriad  sunset  dyes 
Ere  Adam's  race  began,  or,  from  the  rushes, 

Came  Moses,  great  and  wise! 
Thou  saw'st  the  Flood,  Mount  Arrarat  o'er-riding, 

That  bore  of  old  the  Ark; 
Thou  saw'st  the  Star,  the  Eastern  Magi  guiding 

To  manger,  drear  and  dark. 
Seething  with  heat,  or  glacial  ices  rending 

Thy  gaunt  and  crumbling  form; 
Riven  by  frosts   and   lightning-bolts — contending 

In  tempest  and  in  storm — 
Thou  still  protesteth  'gainst  the  day  impending, 

When,  striving  not  in  vain, 
Science,   at  last,   from  thee  thy  riddles  rending, 

Shall  make  all  secrets  plain! 

The  Peculiarities  of  the  Mountains.  Until  1835  the 
mountains  of  New  Hampshire  had  been  regarded  as  the 
loftiest  of  the  Alleghanies;  but  at  that  time  the  attention  of 
John  C.  Calhoun  had  been  drawn  to  the  numerous  rivers 
which  come  from  all  sides  of  the  North  Carolina  mountains 
and  he  shrewdly  reasoned  that  between  the  parallels  of  35°  and 
36°  and  30',  north  latitude,  would  be  found  the  highest  pla- 


INTRODUCTORY 


teau  and  mountains  of  the  Atlantic  coast.  The  Blue  Ridge 
is  a  true  divide,  all  streams  flowing  east  and  all  flowing  west 
having  their  sources  east  or  west  of  that  divide.  The  Linville 
river  seems  to  be  an  exception  to  this  rule,  but  its  source  is 
in  Linville  gap,  which  is  the  true  divide,  the  Boone  fork  of 
the  Watauga  rising  only  a  few  hundred  feet  away  flowing  west 
to  the  Mississippi.  There  are  two  springs  at  Blowing  Rock 
only  a  few  feet  apart,  one  of  which  flows  into  the  Yadkin,  and 
thence  into  the  Atlantic,  while  the  other  goes  into  the  New, 
and  thence  into  the  Gulf  of  Mexico;  Avhile  the  Saddle  Moun- 
tain Baptist  church  in  Alleghany  county  is  built  so  exactly  on 
the  line  that  a  drop  of  rain  falling  on  one  side  of  the  roof  goes 
into  the  Atlantic,  while  another  drop,  falling  on  the  opposite 
side  ultimately  gets  into  the  Gulf. 

When  the  Alleghanies  Were  Higher  Than  the  Alps. 
What  is  by  some  called  The  Portal  is  the  depression  between 
the  Grandfather  on  the  East  and  the  Roan  mountain  on  the 
West.  When  it  is  remembered  that  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  once 
extended  further  north  than  Cairo,  Illinois,  and  that  both  the 
Ohio  and  the  Mississippi  once  emptied  into  that  inland  sea 
without  having  joined  their  waters,  it  will  be  easy  to  under- 
stand why  these  mountains  must  have  been  much  higher  than 
at  present,  as  most  of  their  surface  soil  has  for  untold  ages 
been  slowly  carried  westward  to  form  the  eastern  half  of  the 
valley  of  the  Mississippi  from  Cairo  to  New  Orleans.  Thus, 
the  Watauga  first  finds  its  way  westward,  followed  in  the  or- 
der named  by  the  Doe,  the  Toe,  the  Cane,  the  French  Broad, 
the  Pigeon,  the  Little  Tennessee  and  last  by  the  Hiwassee. 
The  most  northerly  section  of  this  western  rampart  is  called 
the  Stone  mountains,  and  then  follow  the  Iron,  the  Bald,  the 
Great  Smoky,  the  Unaka,  and  last,  the  Frog  mountains  of 
Georgia.  The  Blue  Ridge,  the  transverse  ranges  and  the 
western  mountains  contain  over  a  score  of  peaks  higher  than 
Mount  Washington,  while  the  general  level  of  the  plateau 
between  the  Blue  Ridge  and  the  mountains  which  divide 
North  Carolina  from  Tennessee  is  over  two  thousand  feet 
above  sea  level.  Where  most  of  these  streams  break  through 
the  western  barrier  are  veritable  canons,  sometimes  so  nar- 
row as  to  dispute  the  passage  of  wagon  road,  railroad  and 
river.  For  a  quarter  of  a  mile  along  the  Toe,  at  Lost  Cove, 
the  railroad  is  built  on  a  concrete  viaduct  in  the  very  bed  of 


10         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

the  river  itself.  The  mountains  are  wooded  to  their  crests, 
except  where  those  crests  are  covered  by  grass,  frequently 
forming  velvety  mountain  meadows.  The  scenery  is  often 
grand  and  inspiring.  It  is  always  beautiful;  and  Cowper 
sings : 

"Scenes  must  be  beautiful  that,  daily  seen, 
Please  daily,  and  whose  novelty  survives 
Long  knowledge  and  the  scrutiny  of  years." 

The  Aborigines.  This  region  was,  of  course,  inhabited 
from  time  immemorial  by  the  Indians.  The  Catawbas  held 
the  country  to  the  crest  of  the  Blue  Ridge.  To  the  west  of 
that  line,  the  Cherokees,  a  numerous  and  warlike  tribe,  held 
sway  to  the  Mississippi,  though  a  renegade  portion  of  that 
tribe,  known  as  the  Chicamaugas,  occupied  the  country  around 
what  is  now  Chattanooga. 4  Old  pottery,  pipes,  arrow-  and 
spear-heads  are  found  at  numerous  places  throughout  these 
mountains;  and  only  a  few  years  ago  Mr.  T.  A.  Low,  a 
lawyer  of  Banner  Elk,  Avery  county,  "picked  up  quite  a  num- 
ber of  arrow-heads  in  his  garden,  some  of  which  were  splen- 
did specimens  of  Mocha  stone,  or  moss  agate,  evidently  brought 
from  Lake  Superior  regions,  as  no  stones  of  the  kind  are  found 
in  this  part  of  the  country."5  None  of  the  towns  of  these 
Indians  appear  "  to  have  been  in  the  valleys  of  the  Swan- 
nanoa  and  the  North  Carolina  part  of  the  French  Broad."6 
Parties  roamed  over  the  country.  Since  many  of  the  arrow- 
heads are  defective  or  unfinished,  it  would  seem  that  they 
were  made  where  found,  as  it  is  unlikely  that  such  unfinished 
stones  would  be  carried  about  the  country.  The  inference  is 
that  many  and  large  parties  roamed  through  these  unsettled 
regions. 7  Numbers  of  Indian  mounds,  stone  hatchets,  etc., 
are  found  in  several  localities,  but  nothing  has  been  found  in 
these  mounds  except  Indian  relics  of  the  common  type. 8 

Asheville  on  an  Old  Indian  Battle-Ground?  "There 
is  an  old  tradition  that  Asheville  stands  upon  the  site  where, 
years  before  the  white  man  came,  was  fought  a  great  battle, 
between  two  tribes  of  aborigines,  probably  the  Cherokees  and 
the  Catawbas,  who  were  inveterate  enemies  and  always  at 
war.  There  is  also  a  tradition  that  these  lands  were  for  a 
long  while  neutral  hunting  grounds  of  these  two  tribes."9 

Indian  Names  for  French  Broad.  According  to  Dr.  Ram- 
sey this  stream  was  called  Agiqua  throughout  its  entire  length; 


INTRODUCTORY  1 1 


but  Zeigler  &  Grosscup  tell  us  that  it  was  known  as  the  Agiqua 
to  the  Over  Mountain  Cherokees  [erati]  only  as  far  as  the 
lower  valley;  and  to  the  Ottari  or  Valley  Towns  Indians,  as 
Tahkeeosteh  from  Asheville  down;  while  above  Asheville  "it 
took  the  name  of  Zillicoah."  But  they  give  no  authority  for 
these  statements. 

Origin  of  the  Name  " French  Broad."  Mr.  Sondley10 
states  that  "as  the  settlement  from  the  east  advanced  towards 
the  mountains,  the  Broad  river  was  found  and  named;  and 
when  the  river,  whose  sources  were  on  the  opposite  or  western 
side  of  the  same  mountains — which  gave  rise  to  the  Broad 
river  [on  the  east] — became  known,  that  ...  its  course  tra- 
versed the  lands  then  claimed  by  the  French,  and  this  new- 
found western  stream  was  called  the  French  Broad." 

Origin  of  the  Name  "Swannanoa."  The  same  writer 
(Mr.  Sondley),  after  considering  the  claims  of  those  who  think 
Swannanoa  means  "beautiful",  and  of  those  who  think  it  is 
intended  to  imitate  the  wings  of  ravens  when  flying  rapidly,  is 
of  opinion  that  the  name  is  but  a  corruption  of  Shawno,  or 
Shawnees,  most  of  whom  lived  in  Ohio  territory,  and  he  seems 
to  think  that  Savannah  may  also  be  a  corruption  of  Shawno, 
which  tribe  may  have  dwelt  for  a  time  on  the  Savannah  river 
in  remote  times.  He  then  quotes  Mr.  James  Mooney,  "that 
the  correct  name  of  the  Swannanoa  gap  through  the  Blue 
Ridge,  east  of  Asheville,  is  Suwali  Nunnahi,  or  Suwali  trail," 
that  being  the  pass  through  which  ran  the  trail  from  the  Cher- 
okee to  the  Suwali,  or  Ani-Suwali,  living  east  of  the  moun- 
tains. He  next  quotes  Lederer  (p.  57)  to  the  effect  that  the 
Suwali  were  also  called  Sara,  Sualty  or  Sasa,  the  interchange 
of  the  I  and  r  being  common  in  Indian  dialects. 

The  First  White  Men.  It  is  difficult  to  say  who  were 
the  first  white  men  who  passed  across  the  Blue  Ridge.  There 
is  no  doubt,  however,  that  there  are  excavations  at  several 
places  in  these  mountains  which  indicate  that  white  men  car- 
ried on  mining  operations  in  years  long  since  passed.  This 
is  suggested  by  excavations  and  immense  trees  now  growing 
from  them,  which  when  cut  down  show  rings  to  the  number 
of  several  hundred.  It  is  true  that  these  excavations  may 
have  been  made  by  the  Indians  themselves,  but  it  is  also 
possible  that  they  may  have  been  made  by  white  men  who 
were  wandering  through  the  mountains  in  search  of  gold,  sil- 


12         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

ver  or  precious  stones.  Roosevelt  (Vol.  i,  173-4)  says  that 
unnamed  and  unknown  hunters  and  Indian  traders  had  from 
time  to  time  pushed  their  way  into  the  wilderness  and  had 
been  followed  by  others  of  whom  we  know  little  more  than 
their  names.  Dr.  Thomas  Walker  of  Virginia  had  found  and 
named  Cumberland  river,  mountains  and  gap  after  the  Duke 
of  Cumberland  in  1750,  though  he  had  been  to  the  Cumber- 
land in  1748  (p.  175).  John  Sailing  had  been  taken  as  a 
captive  by  the  Indians  through  Tennessee  in  1730,  and  in 
that  year  Adair  traded  with  the  Indians  in  what  is  now  Ten- 
nessee. In  1756  and  1758  Forts  Loudon  and  Chissel  were 
built  on  the  headwaters  of  the  Tennessee  river,  and  in  1761 
Wallen,  a  hunter,  hunted  near  by  .  .  .  In  1766  James  Smith 
and  others  explored  Tennessee,  and  a  party  from  South  Caro- 
lina were  near  the  present  site  of  Nashville  in  1767. 

De  Soto.  It  is  considered  by  some  as  most  probable  that 
De  Soto,  on  the  great  expedition  in  which  he  discovered  the 
Mississippi  river,  passed  through  Western  North  Carolina  in 
1540. x  x  In  the  course  of  their  journey  they  are  said  to  have 
arrived  at  the  head  of  the  Broad  or  Pacolet  river  and  from 
there  to  have  passed  "through  a  country  covered  with  fields 
of  maize  of  luxuriant  growth,"  and  during  the  next  five  days 
to  have  "traversed  a  chain  of  easy  mountains,  covered  with 
oak  or  mulberry  trees,  with  intervening  valleys,  rich  in  pas- 
turage and  irrigated  by  clear  and  rapid  streams.  These 
mountains  were  twenty  leagues  across."  They  came  at  last 
to  "a  grand  and  powerful  river"  and  "a  village  at  the  end 
of  a  long  island,  where  pearl  oysters  were  found."  "Now,  it 
would  be  impossible  for  an  army  on  the  Broad  or  Pacolet 
river,  within  one  day's  march  of  the  mountains,  to  march 
westward  for  six  days,  five  of  which  were  through  mountains, 
and  reach  the  sources  of  the  Tennessee  or  any  other  river, 
without  passing  through  Western  North  Carolina."12  But 
the  Librarian  of  Congress  says:  "There  appears  to  be  no  au- 
thority for  the  statement  that  this  expedition  [Hernando  De 
Soto's]  entered  the  present  limits  of  North  Carolina."13  In 
the  same  letter  he  says  that  Don  Luis  de  Velasco,  "as  vice- 
roy of  New  Spain,  sent  out  an  expedition  in  1559  under  com- 
mand of  Luna  y  Arellano  to  establish  a  colony  in  Florida. 
One  of  the  latter's  lieutenant's  appears  to  have  led  an  expe- 
dition into  northeastern  Alabama  in  1560."     Also,  that  the 


INTRODUCTORY  13 


statement  of  Charles  C.  Jones,  in  his  "Hernando  De  Soto" 
(1880),  that  Luna's  expedition  penetrated  into  the  Valley  river 
in  Georgia  and  there  mined  for  gold  is  questioned  by  Wood- 
bury Lowery  in  his  "Spanish  Settlements  within  the  pres- 
ent limits  of  the  United  States"  (New  York,  1901,  p.  367). 14 
There  are  unmistakable  evidences  of  gold-mining  in  Macon 
and  Cherokee  counties  which,  apparently,  was  done  300  years 
ago ;  but  by  whom  cannot  now  be  definitely  determined.  How- 
ever, there  is  no  Valley  river  in  Georgia,  and  the  probability 
is  that  the  Valley  river  of  Cherokee  county,  N.  C,  which  is 
very  near  the  Georgia  line,  was  at  that  time  supposed  to  be 
in  the  latter  State. 

The  Roundheads  of  the  South.  Towards  this  primeval 
wilderness  three  streams  of  white  people  began  to  converge  as 
early  as  1730. 1 5  They  were  Irish  Presbyterians,  Scotch  Sax- 
ons, Scotch  Celts,  French  Huguenots,  Milesian  Irish,  Ger- 
mans, Hollanders  and  even  Swedes.  "The  western  border  of 
our  country  was  then  formed  by  the  great  barrier-chains  of 
the  Alleghanies,  which  ran  north  and  south  from  Pennsyl- 
vania through  Maryland,  Virginia  and  the  Carolinas."  Geor- 
gia was  then  too  weak  and  small  to  contribute  much  to  the 
backwoods  stock;  the  frontier  was  still  in  the  low  country. 
It  was  difficult  to  cross  the  mountains  from  east  to  west,  but 
easy  to  follow  the  valleys  between  the  ranges.  By  1730  emi- 
grants were  fairly  swarming  across  the  Atlantic,  most  of  them 
landing  at  Philadelphia,  while  a  less  number  went  to  Charles- 
ton. Those  who  went  to  Philadelphia  passed  west  to  Fort 
Pitt  or  started  southwestward,  towards  the  mountains  of 
North  Carolina  and  Virginia.  Their  brethren  pushed  into  the 
interior  from  Charleston.  These  streams  met  in  the  foothills 
on  the  east  of  the  Blue  Ridge  and  settled  around  Pittsburg 
and  the  headwaters  of  the  Great  Kanawha,  the  Holston  and 
the  Cumberland.  Predominent  among  them  were  the  Presby- 
terian Irish,  whose  preachers  taught  the  creed  of  Knox  and 
Calvin.  They  were  in  the  West  what  the  Puritans  were  in 
the  Northeast,  and  more  than  the  Cavaliers  were  in  the  South. 
They  formed  the  kernel  of  the  American  stock  who  were  the 
pioneers  in  the  march  westward.  They  were  the  Protestants 
of  the  Protestants;  they  detested  and  despised  the  Catholics, 
and  regarded  the  Episcopalians  with  a  more  sullen,  but  scarce- 
ly less  intense,  hatred.     They  had  as  little  kinship  with  the 


14         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Cavalier  as  with  the  Quaker;  they  were  separated  by  a  wide 
gulf  from  the  aristocratic  planter  communities  that  flourished 
in  the  tidewater  regions  of  Virginia  and  the  Carolinas.  They 
deemed  it  a  religious  duty  to  interpret  their  own  Bible,  and 
held  for  a  divine  right  the  election  of  their  own  clergy.  For 
generations  their  whole  ecclesiastic  and  scholastic  systems  had 
been  fundamentally  democratic.  The  creed  of  the  back- 
woodsman who  had  a  creed  at  all  was  Presbyterianism ;  for 
the  Episcopacy  of  the  tidewater  lands  obtained  no  foothold 
in  the  mountains,  and  the  Methodists  and  Baptists  had  but 
just  begun  to  appear  in  the  West  when  the  Revolution  broke 
out.  Thus  they  became  the  outposts  of  civilization;  the  van- 
guard of  the  army  of  fighting  settlers,  who  with  axe  and  rifle 
won  their  way  from  the  Alleghanies  to  the  Rio  Grande  and  the 
Pacific.  "They  have  been  righthy  called  the  Roundheads  of 
the  South,  the  same  men  who,  before  any  others,  declared  for 
American  independence,  as  witness  the  Mecklenburg  Declara- 
tion."16 "They  felt  that  they  were  thus  dispossessing  the 
Canaanites,  and  were  thus  working  the  Lord's  will  in  prepar- 
ing the  land  for  a  people  which  they  believed  was  more  truly 
His  chosen  people  than  was  that  nation  which  Joshua  led 
across  the  Jordan. "  ' 7 

A  New  England er's  Estimate.  In  her -"  Carolina  Moun- 
tains," (Houghton,  Mifflin  Co.,  1913)  Miss  Margaret  W. 
Morley,  of  New  England,  but  who  has  resided  about  a  dozen 
years  in  these  mountains  (Ch.  14)  says  that  although  North 
Carolina  was  originally  settled  "from  almost  all  the  nations 
of  Europe,"  our  mountain  population,  in  "the  course  of  time, 
became  homogenious" ;  that  many  had  come  to  "found  a  fam- 
ily," and  "formed  the  'quality'  of  the  mountains";  while 
others,  "at  different  times  drifted  in  from  the  eastern  lowlands 
as  well  as  down  from  the  North."  Indeed,  the  early  records 
of  Ashe  county,  show  many  a  name  which  has  since  become 
famous  in  New  York,  Ohio  and  New  England — such  as  Day, 
Choate,  Dana,  Cornell,  Storie  and  Vanderpool.  Continuing, 
Miss  Morley  says  (p.  140)  :  "Most  of  the  writers  tell  us 
rather  loosely  that  the  Southern  mountains  were  originally 
peopled  with  refuges  of  one  sort  and  another,  among  whom 
were  criminals  exported  to  the  New  World  from  England, 
which,  they  might  as  well  add,  was  the  case  with  the  whole 
of  the   newly  discovered  continent,  America  being  then  the 


INTRODUCTORY  15 


open  door  of  refuge  for  the  world's  oppressed  .  .  .  but 
we  can  find  no  evidence  that  these  malefactors,  many  of 
them  'indentured  servants',  sent  over  for  the  use  of  the  colo- 
nists, made  a  practice  of  coming  to  the  mountains  when  their 
term  of  servitude  expired.  .  .  .  The  truth  is,  the  same 
people  who  occupied  Virginia  and  the  eastern  part  of  the 
Carolinas,  peopled  the  western  mountains,  English  predomi- 
nating, and  in  course  of  time  there  drifted  down  from  Vir- 
ginia large  numbers  of  Scotch-Irish,  who,  after  the  events  of 
1730,  fled  in  such  numbers  to  the  New  World,  and  good 
Scotch  Highlanders,  who  came  after  1745.  In  fact,  so  many 
of  these  staunch  Northerners  came  to  the  North  Carolina 
mountains  that  they  have  given  the  dominant  note  to  the 
character  of  the  mountaineers,  remembering  which  may  help 
the  puzzled  stranger  to  understand  the  peculiarities  of  the 
people  he  finds  here  today.  .  .  .  The  rapid  growth  of 
slavery,  no  doubt,  discouraged  many,  who,  unable  to  suc- 
ceed in  the  Slave-States,  were  crowded  to  the  mountains,  or 
else  became  the  "Poor  White"  of  the  South,  who  must  not 
be  for  a  moment  confounded  with  the  "Mountain  White," 
the  latter  having  brought  some  of  the  best  blood  of  his  na- 
tion to  these  blue  heights.  He  brought  into  the  mountains 
and  there  nourished,  the  stern  virtues  of  his  race,  including 
the  strictest  honesty,  an  old-fashioned  self-respect,  and  an 
old-fashioned  speech,  all  of  which  he  yet  retains,  as  well  as 
a  certain  pride,  which  causes  him  to  flare  up  instantly  at  any 
suspicion  of  being  treated  with  condescension.  .  .  .  "  She 
gives  the  names  of  Hampton,  Rogers,  McClure,  Morgan, 
Rhodes,  Foster  and  Bradley  as  indicative  of  the  English, 
Scotch  and  Irish  descent  of  our  people — names  that  "are 
crowned  with  honor  out  in  the  big  world."  It  is  also  a  well- 
known  fact  that  Andrew  Jackson,  Abraham  Lincoln,  Admiral 
Farragut  and  Cyrus  T.  McCormick  came  from  the  same 
stock  of  people.  She  adds,  very  justly  :  "Bad  blood  there 
was  among  them,  as  well  as  good,  and  brave  men  as  well  as 
weak  ones.  The  brave  as  well  as  the  bad  blood  sometimes 
worked  out  its  destiny  in  Vendetta  and  "moonshining, "  al- 
though there  never  existed  in  the  North  Carolina  mountains 
the  extensive  and  bloody  feuds  that  distinguish  the  annals  of 
Virginia  and  Kentucky."     (P.  144). 


16  HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

The  Moonshiner,  she  declares,  (p.  201)  is  "a  product  of 
conditions  resulting  from  the  Civil  War,  before  which  time 
the  moutnaineer  converted  his  grain  into  whiskey,  just  as 
the  New  Englander  converted  his  apples  into  cider.  The  act 
of  distilling  was  not  a  crime,  and  became  so  only  because  it 
was  an  evasion  of  the  revenue  laws.  ...  At  the  begin- 
ning of  the  Civil  War  for  the  sake  of  revenue  a  very  heavy 
tax  was  placed  on  all  distilled  alcoholic  liquors.  After  the 
war  was  over  the  tax  was  not  removed,  and  this  is  the  griev- 
ance of  the  mountaineer,  who  says  that  the  tax  should  have 
been  removed;  that  it  is  unjust  and  oppressive,  and  that  he 
has  a  right  to  do  as  he  pleases  with  his  own  corn,  and  to 
evade  the  law  which  interferes  with  his  personal  freedom." 
But,  she  adds  :  "Within  the  past  few  years  the  moonshiner, 
along  with  many  time-honored  customs,  has  been  rapidly  van- 
ishing. 

An  Appreciation.  Such  just,  truthful,  generous  and  sym- 
pathetic words  as  the  above,  especially  when  found  eminat- 
ing  from  a  New  Englander,  will  be  highly  appreciated  by 
every  resident  of  the  Carolina  mountains,  as  we  are  accus- 
tomed to  little  else  than  misrepresentations  and  abuse  by 
many  of  the  writers  from  Miss  Morley's  former  home.  Her 
descriptions  of  our  flowers,  our  gems,  our  manners  and  cus- 
toms, our  scenery,  our  climate  and  the  character  of  our  peo- 
ple will  win  for  her  a  warm  place  in  the  affections  of  all  our 
people.  "The  Carolina  Mountains"  is  by  far  the  best  book 
that  has  ever  been  written  about  our  section  and  our  people. 
The  few  lapses  into  which  she  has  been  betrayed  by  incorrect 
information  will  be  gladly  overlooked  in  view  of  the  fact  that 
she  has  been  so  just,  so  kind  and  so  truthful  in  the  estimate 
she  has  placed  upon  our  virtues  and  our  section. 

Poor  Comfort.  Very  little  comfort  is  to  be  derived  from 
the  fact  that  some  writers  claim  ("The  Child  That  Toilet h 
Not,"  p.  13)  that  a  spirit  of  fun  or  a  "great  sense  of  humor" 
among  the  mountain  people  induces  them  to  mislead  strang- 
ers who  profess  to  believe  that  in  some  sections  of  the  moun- 
tains our  people  have  never  even  heard  of  Santa  Claus  or  Jesus 
Christ;  by  pretending  that  they  do  not  themselves  know  any- 
thing of  either.  Indeed,  a  story  comes  from  Aquone  to  the 
effect  that  a  stranger  from  New  England  who  was  there  to 
fish  in  the  Nantahala  river  once  told  his  guide,  a  noted  wag, 


INTRODUCTORY 


that  he  had  heard  that  some  of  the  mountain  people  had  not 
heard  of  God  or  Jesus  Christ.  Pretending  to  think  that  the 
visitor  was  referring  to  a  man,  the  guide  asked  if  his  ques- 
tioner did  not  mean  Mike  Crise,  a  timber-jack  who  had 
worked  on  that  river  a  dozen  years  before,  and  when  the 
stranger  replied  that  he  meant  Jesus  of  Bethlehem,  the  wag, 
with  a  perfectly  straight  face,  answered  :  "That's  the  very 
p'int  Mike  came  from" — meaning  Bethlehem,  Pa.  There- 
fore, when  we  read  in  "The  Carolina  Mountains  (p.  117) 
that  "The  mountaineer,  it  may  be  said  in  passing,  sells  his 
molasses  by  the  bushel,"  and  (p.  220)  that  "Under  the  Smoky 
mountain  we  heard  of  a  sect  of  'Barkers/  who,  the  people 
said,  in  their  religious  frenzy,  run  and  bark  up  a  tree  in  the 
belief  that  Christ  is  there,"  we  are  driven  to  the  conclusion 
that  Miss  Morley,  the  author,  was  a  victim  of  this  same  irre- 
sistible "sense  of  humor." 

NOTES. 

'Letter  of  R.  D.  W.  Connor,  Secretary  N.  C.  Hist.  Com.,  January  31,  1912. 

2Zeigler  &  Grosscup,  p.  9. 

'This  mountain  is  said  to  be  among  the  oldest  geological  formations  on  earth,  the 
Laurentian  only  being  senior  to  it. 

'Roosevelt,  Vol.  Ill,  111-112. 

«T.  A.  Low,  Esq. 

6Asheville  Centenary. 

'Ibid. 

sibid. 

"Ibid. 

"Ibid. 

nZeigler  &  Grosscup,  p.  222. 

12Asheville  Centenary. 

"His  letter  to  J.  P.  A.,  1912. 

"Ibid. 

"Roosevelt,  Vol.  I.  p.  137.  This  entire  chapter  (ch.  5,  Vol.  I),  from  which  the  follow- 
ing excerpts  have  been  taken  at  random,  contains  the  finest  tribute  in  the  language  to 
the  pioneers  of  the  South. 

"Ibid.,  214. 

"Ibid. 


W.  N.  C. 2 


CHAPTER  II 
BOUNDARIES 

A  Digression.  The  purpose  of  this  history  is  to  relate 
facts  concerning  that  part  of  North  Carolina  which  lies  be- 
tween the  Blue  Ridge  and  the  Tennessee  line;  but  as  there 
has  never  been  any  connected  account  of  the  boundary  lines 
between  North  Carolina  and  its  adjoining  sisters,  a  digression 
from  the  main  purpose  in  order  to  tell  that  story  should  be 
pardoned. 

Unfounded  Traditions.  It  is  said  that  the  reason  the 
Ducktown  copper  mines  of  Tennessee  were  lost  to  North  Car- 
olina was  due  to  the  fact  that  the  commissioners  of  North 
Carolina  and  Tennessee  ran  out  of  spirituous  liquors  when 
they  reached  the  high  peak  just  north  of  the  Hiwassee  river, 
and  instead  of  continuing  the  line  in  a  general  southwest- 
wardly  course,  crossing  the  tops  of  the  Big  and  Little  Frog 
mountains,  they  struck  due  south  to  the  Georgia  line  and  a 
still-house.  The  same  story  is  told  as  to  the  location  of  Ashe- 
ville,  the  old  Steam  Saw  Mill  place  on  the  Buncombe  Turn- 
pike about  three  miles  south  of  Asheville,  at  Dr.  Hardy's 
former  residence,  being  its  chief  rival;  but  when  it  is  recalled 
that  two  Indian  trails  crossed  at  Asheville,  and  the  legislature 
had  selected  a  man  from  Burke  as  an  umpire  of  the  dispute,  it 
will  be  found  that  grave  doubts  may  arise  as  to  the  truth  of 
the  whiskey  tradition. 1  It  was  the  jagged  boundary  between 
North  and  South  Carolina  and  the  stories  attributing  the 
same  to  the  influence  of  whiskey  that  called  forth  the  fol- 
lowing just  and  sober  reflections : 

Abstemious  or  Capable  in  Strong  Drink?  Hon.  W.  L. 
Saunders,  who  edited  the  Colonial  Records,  remarks  in  Vol. 
v,  p.  xxxviii,  that  "there  is  usually  a  substantial,  sensible, 
sober  reason  for  any  marked  variation  from  the  general  direc- 
tion of  an  important  boundary  line,  plain  enough  when  the 
facts  are  known;  but  the  habit  of  the  country  is  to  attribute 
such  variations  to  a  supposed  superior  capacity  of  the  com- 
missioners and  surveyors  on  the  other  side  for  resisting  the 
power  of  strong  drink.     Upon  this  theory,  judging  from  prac- 

(18) 


BOUNDARIES  19 


tical  results,  North  Carolina  in  her  boundary  surveys,  and 
they  have  been  many,  seems  to  have  been  unusually  fortunate 
in  having  men  who  were  either  abstemious  or  very  capable  in 
the  matter  of  strong  drink;  for,  so  far  as  now  appears,  in  no 
instance  have  we  been  overreached."  2 

A  Sanctuary  for  Criminals.  Prior  to  the  settlement  of 
these  boundary  disputes  grants  had  been  issued  by  each  col- 
ony to  lands  in  the  territory  in  controversy;  which,  according 
to  Governor  Dobbs,  "was  the  creation  of  a  kind  of  sanctuary 
allowed  to  criminals  and  vagabonds  by  their  pretending,  as  it 
served  their  purpose,  that  they  belonged  to  either  province."  3 
"But,"  adds  Mr.  W.  L.  Saunders,  "who  can  help  a  feeling  of 
sympathy  for  those  reckless  free-lances  to  whom  constraint 
from  either  province  was  irksome?  After  men  breathe  North 
Carolina  air  for  a  time,  a  very  little  government  will  go  a 
long  way  with  them.  Certainly  the  men  who  publicly  'damned 
the  King  and  his  peace'  in  1762  were  fast  ripening  for  the 
20th  of  May,  1775.  "4 

The  First  Grant  of  Carolina.  Charles  the  Second's 
grant  of  Carolina  in  1584  embraced  only  the  land  between 
the  mouth  of  the  St.  Johns  river  in  Florida  to  a  line  just  north 
of  Albemarle  Sound;  but  he  had  intended  to  give  all  land 
south  of  the  settlements  in  Virginia.  This  left  a  strip  of  land 
between  the  Province  of  Carolina  and  the  Virginia  settle- 
ments. 5  In  1665  the  King  added  a  narrow  strip  of  land  to 
those  already  granted.  This  strip  lay  just  north  of  Albe- 
marle Sound,  and  its  northern  boundary  would  of  course  be 
the  boundary  line  between  Carolina  and  Virginia.  It  was 
about  fifteen  miles  wide,  and  had  on  it  "hundreds  of  fam- 
ilies," which  neither  colony  wished  to  lose. 6 

The  First  Survey.  In  1709,  both  colonies  appointed 
commissioners  to  settle  this  boundary.  North  Carolina 
appointed  Moseley  and  John  Lawson;  but  Lawson  left  his 
deputy,  Colonel  Wm.  Maule,  to  act  for  him. 7  In  1710  these 
commissioners  met  Philip  Ludwell  and  Nathaniel  Harrison, 
commissioners  from  Virginia,  but  our  commissioners  insisted 
that  the  surveying  instruments  used  by  the  Virginians  were 
not  to  be  trusted,  and  the  meeting  broke  up  without  having 
accomplished  anything  except  the  charge  from  the  Virginians 
that  Moseley  did  not  want  the  line  run  because  he  was  trad- 
ing in  disputed  lands.8    When  the  commissioners  from  these 


20         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

two  colonies  did  meet  in  March  1728,  it  was  found  that  our 
commissioners  had  been  right  in  1710  as  to  the  inaccuracy  of 
the  Virginia  instruments,  and  the  Virginians  frankly  admit- 
ted it. 9 

North  Carolina  and  Virginia  Boundary.  1  °  On  the 
27th  of  February,  1728,  William  Byrd,  Will  Dandridge,  and 
Richard  Fitzwilliam,  as  commissioners  from  Virginia,  met 
Edward  Moseley,  C.  Gale,  Will  Little  and  J.  Lovick,  as  com- 
missioners from  North  Carolina,  at  Corotuck  Inlet,  and  began 
the  survey  on  the  27th  day  of  March,  and  continued  it  till  the 
weather  got  "warm  enough  to  give  life  and  vigor  to  the  rat- 
tlesnakes" in  the  beginning  of  April,  when  they  stopped  till 
September  20,  when  the  survey  was  renewed;  and  after  going 
a  certain  distance  beyond  their  own  inhabitants  the  North 
Carolina  commissioners  refused  to  proceed  further,  and  pro- 
tested against  the  Virginia  commissioners  proceeding  further 
with  it. 1 1  In  this  they  were  joined  by  Fitzwilliam  of  Vir- 
ginia. This  protest  was  in  writing  and  was  delivered  October 
6,  when  they  had  proceeded  170  miles  to  the  southern  branch 
of  the  Roanoke  river  "and  near  50  miles  without  inhabitants," 
which  they  thought  would  be  far  enough  for  a  long  time.  To 
this  the  two  remaining  Virginia  commissioners,  Byrd  and  Dan- 
dridge, sent  a  written  answer,  to  the  effect  that  their  order  was 
to  run  the  line  "as  far  towards  the  mountains  as  they  could; 
they  thought  they  should  go  as  far  as  possible  so  that  "His 
Majesty's  subjects  may  as  soon  as  possible  extend  themselves 
to  that  natural  barrier,  as  they  are  certain  to  do  in  a  few 
years;"  and  thought  it  strange  that  the  North  Carolina  com- 
missioners should  stop  "within  two  or  three  days  after  Mr. 
Mayo  had  entered  with  them  near  2,000  acres  within  five 
miles  of  the  place  where  they  left  off." 

Byrd  and  Dandridge  Continue  Alone.  The  North 
Carolina  commissioners,  accompanied  by  Fitzwilliam  of  Vir- 
ginia, left  on  October  8th;  but  Byrd  and  Dandridge  continued 
alone,  crossing  Matrimony  creek,  "so  called  from  being  a  lit- 
tle noisy,"  and  saw  a  little  mountain  five  miles  to  the  north- 
west "which  we  named  the  Wart. "  1 2 

On  the  25th  of  October  they  came  in  plain  sight  of  the  moun- 
tains, and  on  the  26th,  they  reached  a  rivulet  which  "the 
traders  say  is  a  branch  of  the  Cape  Fear. "  Here  they  stop- 
ped.    This  was  Peters  creek  in  what  is  now  Stokes  county. 1 3 


BOUNDARIES  21 


It  was  on  this  trip  that  Mr.  Byrd  discovered  extraordinary 
virtues  in  bear  meat.  This  point x  4  was  on  the  northern  bound- 
ary of  that  part  of  old  Surry  which  is  now  Stokes  county. 

The  "Break"  in  the  Line  Accounted  for.  A  glance 
at  the  map  will  show  a  break  in  the  line  between  Virginia  and 
North  Carolina  where  it  crosses  the  Chowan  river.  This  is 
thus  accounted  for : *  5  Governors  Eden  of  North  Carolina  and 
Spottswood  of  Virginia  met  at  Nansemond  and  agreed  to  set 
the  compass  on  the  north  shore  of  Currituck  river  or  inlet  and 
run  due. west;  and  if  it  "cutt  [sic]  Chowan  river  between  the 
mouths  of  Nottoway  and  Wiccons  creeks,  it  shall  continue  on 
the  same  course  towards  the  mountains;  but  it  it  "cutts 
Chowan  river  to  the  southward  of  Wiccons  creek,  it  shall  con- 
tinue up  the  middle  of  Chowan  river  to  the  mouth  of  Wiccons 
creek,  and  from  thence  run  due  west."  It  did  this;  and  the 
survey  of  1728  was  not  an  attempt  to  ascertain  and  mark  the 
parallel  of  36°  30',  but  "an  attempt  to  run  a  line  between  cer- 
tain natural  objects  .  .  .  regardless  of  that  line  and  agreed 
upon  as  a  compromise  by  the  governors  of  the  two  States."  *  6 

The  Real  Milk  in  the  Cocoanut.  Thus,  so  far  as  the 
Colonial  Records  show,  ended  the  first  survey  of  the  dividing 
line  between  this  State  and  Virginia,  which  one  of  the  Virginia 
commissioners  has  immortalized  by  his  matchless  account,  which, 
however,  was  not  given  to  the  world  until  1901,  when  it  was  most 
attractively  published  by  Doubleday,  Page  &  Co.,  after  careful 
editing  by  John  Spencer  Bassett.  But  Col.  Byrd  does  not 
content  himself  in  his  "Writings"  with  the  insinuation  that 
the  North  Carolina  commissioners  and  Mr.  Mayo  had  lost 
interest  immediately  after  having  entered  2,000  acres  of  land 
within  five  miles  of  the  end  of  their  survey.  He  goes  further 
and  charges  (p.  126)  that,  including  Mr.  Fitzwilliam,  one 
of  the  Virginia  commissioners,  "they  had  stuck  by  us  as  long 
as  our  good  liquor  lasted,  and  were  so  kind  to  us  as  to  drink 
our  good  Journey  to  the  Mountains  in  the  last  Bottle  we  had 
left!"  He  also  insinuates  that  Fitzwilliam  left  because  he 
was  also  a  judge  of  the  Williamsburg,  Virginia,  court,  and 
hoped  to  draw  double  pay  while  Byrd  and  Dandridge  con- 
tinued to  run  the  line  after  his  return.  But  in  this  he  exult- 
antly records  the  fact  that  Fitzwilliam  utterly  failed. 

The  Ninety-Mile  Extension  in  1749.  In  October,  1749, 
the  line  between  North  Carolina  and  Virginia  was  extended 


22         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

from  Peters  creek,  where  it  had  ended  in  1728 — which  point 
is  now  in  Stokes  county — ninety  miles  to  the  westward  to 
Steep  Rock  creek,  crossing  "a  large  branch  of  the  Mississippi 
[New  River],  which  runs  between  the  ledges  of  the  moun- 
tains"— as  Governor  Johnston  remarked — "and  nobody  ever 
drempt  of  before."  William  Churton  and  Daniel  Weldon 
were  the  commissioners  on  the  part  of  North  Carolina,  and 
Joshua  Fry  and  Peter  Jefferson  on  the  part  of  Virginia.  "It 
so  happens,  however,  that  no  record  of  this  survey  has  been 
preserved,  and  we  are  today  without  evidence,  save  from 
tradition,  to  ascertain  the  location  of  our  boundary  for  ninety 
miles."17 

This  extension  carried  the  line  to  within  about  two  miles 
east  of  the  Holston  river;  and  we  know  from  the  statute  of 
1779  providing  for  its  further  extension  from  that  point  upon 
the  latitude  of  36°  30'  that  it  had  been  run  considerably  south 
of  that  latitude  from  Peters  creek  to  Pond  mountain,  from 
which  point  it  had,  apparently  without  rhyme  or  reason,  been 
run  in  a  northeastwardly  direction  to  the  top  of  White  Top 
mountain, *  8  about  three  miles  north  of  its  former  course, 
and  from  there  carried  to  Steep  Rock  creek,  near  the  Holston 
river,  in  a  due  west  course.  The  proverbial  still-house,  said 
to  have  been  on  White  Top,  is  also  said  to  have  caused  this 
aberration;  but  the  probability  is  that  the  commissioners  had 
a  more  substantial  reason  than  that. 

The  Last  Extension  of  This  Line.  In  1779  North  Caro- 
lina passed  an  act19  reciting  that  as  "the  inhabitants  of  this 
State  and  of  the  Commonwealth  of  Virginia  have  settled  them- 
selves further  westwardly  than  the  boundary  between  the  two 
States  hath  hitherto  been  extended,  it  becomes  expedient  in 
order  to  prevent  disputes  among  such  settlers  that  the  same 
should  be  now  further  extended  and  marked."  To  that  end 
Orandates — improperly  spelled  in  the  Revised  Statutes  of  1837, 
Vol.  ii,  p.  82,  "Oroondates" — Davie,  John  Williams  Caswell, 
James  Kerr,  William  Bailey  Smith  and  Richard  Henderson  should 
be  the  commissioners  on  the  part  of  North  Carolina  to  meet 
similar  commissioners  from  Virginia  to  still  further  extend  it. 
But  it  was  expressly  provided  that  they  should  begin  where 
the  commissioners  of  1749  had  left  off,  and  first  ascertain  if 
it  be  in  latitude  36°  30',  "and  if  it  be  found  to  be  truly  in" 
that  latitude,  then  they  were  "to  run  from  thence  due  west 


BOUNDARIES  23 


to  the  Tennessee  or  the  Ohio  river;  or  if  it  be  found  not  truly 
in  that  latitude,  then  to  run  from  said  place,  due  north  or  due 
south,  into  the  said  latitude,  and  thence  due  west  to  the  said 
Tennessee  or  Ohio  river,  correcting  the  said  course  at  due 
intervals  by  astronomical  observations."20  Colonial  Records. 
Vol.  iv,  p.  13.) 

The  Line  Run  in  1780.  Richard  Henderson  was  appoint- 
ed on  the  part  of  North  Carolina,  and  Dr.  Thomas  Walker 
on  that  of  Virginia,  to  run  this  line,  and  they  began  their  task 
in  the  spring  of  1780;  and  on  the  last  day  of  March  of  that 
year  Col.  Richard  Henderson  met  the  Donelson  party  on  its 
way  from  the  Watauga  settlements  to  settle  at  the  French 
Lick,  in  the  bend  of  the  Cumberland.  (Roosevelt,  Vol.  iii, 
p.  242.)  But  nine  years  before,  in  1771,  Anthony  Bledsoe, 
one  of  the  new-comers  to  the  Watauga  settlement,  being  a 
practical  surveyor,  and  not  being  certain  that  that  settlement 
was  wholly  within  the  borders  of  Virginia,  extended  the  line 
of  1749  from  its  end  near  the  Holston  river  far  enough  to  the 
west  to  satisfy  himself  that  the  new  settlement  on  the  Watauga 
was  in  North  Carolina. 2  * 

Disputed  Carolina  Boundary  Lines.  From  the  Prefa- 
tory Notes  to  Volume  V,  Colonial  Records,  p.  35,  etc.,  it 
appears  that  the  dispute  between  the  two  Carolinas  as  to 
boundary  lines  began  in  1720  "when  the  purpose  to  erect  a 
third  Province  in  Carolina, 2  2  with  Savannah  for  its  northern 
boundary,"  began  to  assume  definite  shape,  but  nothing  was 
done  till  January  8,  1829-'30,  when  a  line  was  agreed  on  "to 
begin  30  miles  southwest  of  the  Cape  Fear  river,  and  to  be 
run  at  that  parallel  distance  the  whole  course  of  said  river;" 
and  in  the  following  June  Governor  Johnson  of  South  Caro- 
lina recommended  that  it  run  from  a  point  30  miles  south- 
west of  the  source  of  the  Cape  Fear,  shall  be  continued  "due 
west  as  far  as  the  South  Sea,"  unless  the  "Waccamaw  river 
lyes  [sic]  within  30  miles  of  the  Cape  Fear  river,"  in  which 
case  that  river  should  be  the  boundary.  This  was  accepted 
by  North  Carolina  until  it  was  discovered  that  the  "Cape 
Fear  rose  very  close  to  the  Virginia  border,"23  and  would 
not  have  "permitted  any  extension  on  the  part  of  North  Caro- 
lina to  the  westward."  Meanwhile,  both  provinces  claimed 
land  on  the  north  side  of  the  Waccamaw  river."24  In  1732 
Gov.  Burrington  [of  North  Carolina]  published  a  proclama- 


24         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

tion  in  Timothy's  Southern  Gazette,  declaring  the  lands  lying 
on  the  north  side  of  the  Waccamaw  river  to  be  within  the 
Province  of  North  Carolina,  to  which  Gov.  Johnson  [of  South 
Carolina]  replied  by  a  similar  proclamation  claiming  the  same 
land  to  belong  to  South  Carolina;  and  also  claiming  that  when 
they  [the  two  governors]  had  met  before  the  Board  of  Trade 
in  London  to  settle  this  matter  in  1829-'30,  Barrington  had 
"  insisted  that  the  Waccamaw  should  be  the  boundary  from 
its  mouth  to  its  head,"  while  South  Carolina  had  contended 
that  "the  line  should  run  30  miles  distant  from  the  mouth  of 
the  Cape  Fear  river  on  the  southwest  side  thereof,  as  set  forth 
in  the  instructions,  and  that  the  Board  had  agreed  thereto, 
unless  the  mouth  of  the  Waccamaw  river  was  within  30  miles 
of  the  Cape  Fear  river;  in  which  case  both  Governor  Barring- 
ton  and  himself  had  agreed  that  the  Waccamaw  river  should 
be  the  boundary."  The  omission  of  the  word  "mouth"  in 
the  last  part  of  the  instructions  Governor  Johnson  thought 
"only  a  mistake  in  wording  it. "  2  5 

The  Line  Partially  Run  in  1735.  In  consequence  of 
this  dispute  commissioners  were  appointed  by  both  colonies, 
who  were  to  meet  on  the  23d  of  April,  1735,  and  run  a  due 
west  line  from  the  Cape  Fear  along  the  sea  coast  for  thirty 
miles,  and  from  thence  proceed  northwest  to  the  35th  degree 
north  latitude,  and  if  the  line  touched  the  Pee  Dee  river  be- 
fore reaching  the  35th  degree,  then  they  were  to  make  an 
offset  at  five  miles  distant  from  the  Pee  Dee  and  proceed  up 
that  river  till  they  reached  that  latitude;  and  from  thence 
they  were  to  proceed  due  west  until  they  came  to  Catawba 
town;  but  if  the  town  should  be  to  the  northward  of  the  line, 
"they  were  to  make  an  offset  around  the  town  so  as  to  leave 
it  in  the  South  government."  They  began  to  run  the  line 
in  "May,  1735,  and  proceeded  thirty  miles  west  from  Cape 
Fear  .  .  .  and  then  went  northwest  to  the  country  road  and 
set  up  stakes  there  for  the  mearing 2  6  or  boundary  of  the 
two  provinces,  when  they  separated,  agreeing  to  return  on  the 
18th  of  the  following  September."  In  September  the  line  was 
run  northwest  about  70  miles,  the  South  Carolina  commis- 
sioners not  arriving  till  October.  These  followed  the  line  run 
by  the  North  Carolina  commissioners  about  40  miles,  and 
finding  it  correct,  refused  to  run  it  further  because  they  had 
not  been  paid  for  their  services.     A  deputy  surveyor,  how- 


BOUNDARIES  25 


ever,  took  the  latitude  of  the  Pee  Dee  at  the  35th  parallel 
and  set  up  a  mark,  which  was  from  that  date  deemed  to  be 
the  mearing  or  boundary  at  that  place. 

Line  Extended  in  1737  and  in  1764.  In  1737  the  line 
was  extended  in  the  same  direction  22  miles  to  a  stake  in  a 
meadow  supposed  to  be  at  the  point  of  intersection  with  the 
35th  parallel  of  north  latitude. 2  7  In  1764  the  line  was  ex- 
tended from  the  stake  due  west  62  miles,  intersecting  the 
Charleston  road  from  Salisbury,  near  Waxhaw  creek28  at  a 
distance  of  61  miles. 

The  "Line  of  1772."  In  1772,  after  making  the  required 
offsets  so  as  to  leave  the  Catawba  Indians  in  South  Carolina 
in  pursuance  of  the  agreement  of  1735,  the  line  was  "ex- 
tended in  a  due  west  course  from  the  confluence  of  the  north 
and  south  forks  of  the  Catawba  river  to  Tryon  mountain." 
But  North  Carolina  refused  to  agree  to  this  line,  insisting 
that  "the  parallel  of  35°  of  north  latitude  having  been  made 
the  boundary  by  the  agreement  of  1735,  it  could  not  be  changed 
without  their  consent.  .  .  .  The  reasons  that  controlled  the 
commissioners  in  recommending  this  course  .  .  .  were  that 
the  observations  of  their  own  astronomer,  President  Cald- 
well of  the  University,  showed  there  was  a  palpable  error  in 
running  the  line  from  the  Pee  Dee  to  the  Salisbury  road, 
that  line  not  being  upon  the  35th  parallel,  but  some  12  miles 
to  the  South  of  it,  and  that  "the  line  of  1772"  was  just  about 
far  enough  north  of  the  35th  parallel  to  rectify  the  error,  by 
allowing  South  Carolina  to  gain  on  the  west  of  the  Catawba 
river  substantially  what  she  had  lost  through  misapprehen- 
sion on  the  east  of  it."  North  Carolina  in  1813  "agreed  that 
the  line  of  1772"  should  be  recognized  as  a  part  of  the  bound- 
ary.29  "The  zig-zag  shape  of  the  line  as  it  runs  from  the 
southwest  corner  of  Union  county  to  the  Catawba  river  is 
due  to  the  offsets  already  referred  to,  and  which  were  neces- 
sary to  throw  the  reservation  of  Catawba  Indians  into  the 
Province  of  South  Carolina." 

Northern  and  Southern  Boundaries.  The  peace  of 
1783  with  Great  Britain  did  nothing  more  to  secure  our  west- 
ern limits  than  to  confirm  us  in  the  control  of  the  territory 
already  in  our  possession;  for  while  the  Great  Lakes  were  rec- 
ognized as  our  northern  boundary,  Great  Britain  failed  to 
formally  admit  that  boundary  till  the  ratification  of  the  Jay 


26         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

treaty,  on  the  ground  that  we  had  failed  to  fulfill  certain 
promises;  and  while  she  had  likewise  consented  to  recognize 
the  31st  parallel  as  our  southern  boundary,  it  had  been  secretly 
agreed  between  America  and  Great  Britain  that,  if  she  recov- 
ered West  Florida  from  Spain,  the  boundary  should  run  a 
hundred  miles  further  north  than  the  31st  parallel.  For  this 
land,  drained  by  the  Gulf  rivers,  had  not  been  England's  to 
grant,  as  it  had  been  conquered  and  was  then  held  by  Spain. 
Nor  was  it  actually  given  up  to  us  until  it  was  acquired  by 
Pinckney's  masterly  diplomacy.  (Roosevelt,  Vol.  iii,  p. 
283  et  seq.) 

France's  Duplicity.  The  reasons  for  these  reservations 
were  that  while  France  had  been  our  ally  in  the  Revolution- 
ary war,  Spain  was  also  the  ally  of  France  both  before  and 
after  the  close  of  that  conflict;  and  our  commissioners  had 
been  instructed  by  Congress  to  "take  no  steps  without  the 
knowledge  and  advice  of  France."  It  was  now  the  interest 
of  France  to  act  in  the  interest  of  Spain  more  than  in  that  of 
America  for  two  reasons,  the  first  of  which  was  that  she  wished 
to  keep  Gibraltar,  and  the  second,  that  she  wished  to  keep  us 
dependent  on  her  as  long  as  she  could.  Spain,  however,  was 
quite  as  hostile  to  us  as  England  had  been,  and  predicted  the 
future  expansion  of  the  United  States  at  the  expense  of  Flor- 
ida, Louisiana  and  Mexico.  Therefore,  she  tried  to  hem  in  our 
growth  by  giving  us  the  Alleghanies  as  our  western  boundary. 
The  French  court,  therefore,  proposed  that  we  should  content 
ourselves  with  so  much  of  the  trans-Alleghany  territory  as 
lay  around  the  head  waters  of  the  Tennessee  and  between  the 
Cumberland  and  Ohio,  all  of  which  was  already  settled;  "and 
the  proposal  showed  how  important  the  French  court  deemed 
the  fact  of  actual  settlement."  But  John  Jay,  supported  by 
Adams,  disregarded  the  instructions  of  Congress  and  negotiated 
a  separate  treaty  as  to  boundaries,  and  gave  us  the  Missis- 
sippi as  our  western  boundary,  but  leaving  to  England  the  free 
navigation  of  the  Mississippi. 2     (Roosevelt,  Vol.  iii,  p.  284.) 

Inchoate  Rights  Only  Under  Colonial  Charters. 
"In  settling  the  claims  to  the  western  territory,  much  stress 
was  laid  on  the  old  colonial  charters;  but  underneath  all  the 
verbiage  it  was  practically  admitted  that  these  charters  con- 
ferred merely  inchoate  rights,  which  became  complete  only 
after  conquest  and  settlement.     The  States  themselves  had 


BOUNDARIES  27 


already  by  their  actions  shown  that  they  admitted  this  to  be 
the  case.  Thus,  North  Carolina,  when  by  the  creation  of 
Washington  county — now  the  State  of  Tennessee, — she  rounded 
out  her  boundaries,  specified  them  as  running  to  the  Mis- 
sissippi. As  a  matter  of  fact  the  royal  grant,  under  which 
alone  she  could  claim  the  land  in  question,  extended  to  the 
Pacific;  and  the  only  difference  between  her  rights  to  the 
regions  east  and  west  of  the  river  was  that  her  people  were 
settling  in  one,  and  could  not  settle  in  the  other. "  (Roosevelt, 
Vol.  iii,  p.  285.) 

Western  Lands  an  Obstacle.  One  of  the  chief  objec- 
tions to  the  adoption  of  the  Articles  of  Confederation,  which 
Congress  formulated  and  submitted  to  the  States  November 
15,  1777,  by  some  of  the  States  was  that  each  State  had  con- 
sidered that  upon  the  Declaration  of  Independence  it  was  pos- 
sessed of  all  the  British  lands  which  at  any  time  had  been  in- 
cluded within  its  boundary;  and  Virginia,  having  in  1778,  cap- 
tured a  few  British  forts  northwest  of  the  Ohio,  created  out  of 
that  territory  the  "County  of  Illinois,"  and  treated  it  as  her 
property.  Other  States,  having  small  claims  to  western  ter- 
ritory, insisted  that,  as  the  western  territory  had  been  secured 
by  a  war  in  which  all  the  States  had  joined,  all  those  lands 
should  be  reserved  to  reward  the  soldiers  of  the  Continental 
army  and  to  secure  the  debt  of  the  United  States.  Maryland, 
whose  boundaries  could  not  be  construed  to  include  much  of 
the  western  land,  refused  to  ratify  the  articles  unless  the  claim 
of  Virginia  should  be  disallowed.  It  was  proposed  by  Vir- 
ginia and  Connecticut  to  close  the  union  or  confederacy  with- 
out Maryland,  and  Virginia  even  opened  a  land  office  for  the 
sale  of  her  western  lands;  but  without  effect  on  Maryland.  At 
this  juncture,  New  York,  which  had  less  to  gain  from  western 
territory  than  the  other  claimants,  ceded  her  claims  to  the 
United  States;  and  Virginia  on  January  2,  1781,  agreed  to 
do  likewise.  Thereupon  Maryland  ratified  the  articles,  and 
on  March  1,  1781,  the  Articles  of  Confederation  were  duly  put 
into  force.  From  that  date  Congress  was  acting  under  a 
written  charter  or  constitution.     (Hart,  Sec.  45.) 

Cession  of  Western  Territory.  When,  at  the  close  of 
the  Revolution,  it  became  necessary  that  Congress  take  steps 
to  carry  out  the  pledge  it  had  given  (October  10,  1780)  to  see 
that  such  western  lands  should  be  disposed  of  for  the  common 


28         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

benefit,  and  formed  into  distinct  republican  States  under  the 
Union,  it  urged  the  States  to  cede  their  western  territory  to  it 
to  be  devoted  to  the  payment  of  the  soldiers  and  the  payment 
of  the  national  debt.  The  northern  tier  of  States  soon  after- 
wards ceded  their  territory,  with  certain  reservations;  but 
the  process  of  cession  went  on  more  slowly  and  less  satisfac- 
torily in  the  southern  States.  Virginia  retained  both  juris- 
diction and  land  in  Kentucky,  while  North  Carolina,  in  1790, 
granted  " jurisdiction  over  what  is  now  Tennessee,"  but  every 
acre  of  land  had  already  been  granted  by  the  State.  (Hart, 
Sec.  52).  This,  however,  is  not  strictly  true,  much  Tennessee 
land  not  having  been  granted  then. 

The  Carolinas  Agree  to  Extend  "The  Line  of  1772." 
In  1803  the  Legislature  of  North  Carolina  passed  an  act  (Rev. 
Stat.  1837,  Vol.  II,  p.  82)  for  the  appointment  of  three  com- 
missioners to  meet  other  commissioners  from  South  Carolina, 
to  fix  and  establish  permanently  the  boundary  line  between 
these  two  States  "as  far  as  the  eastern  boundary  of  the  terri- 
tory ceded  by  the  State  of  North  Carolina  to  the  United 
States.  This  act  was  amended  in  1804,  giving  "the  governor 
for  the  time  being  and  his  successor  full  power  and  authoriy 
to  enter  into  any  compact  or  agreement  that  he  may  deem 
most  advisable"  with  the  South  Carolina  and  Georgia  authori- 
ties for  the  settlement  of  the  "boundary  lines  between  these 
States  and  North  Carolina."  But  this  act  seems  only  to  have 
caused  confusion  and  necessitated  the  passage  of  another  act 
in  1806  declaring  that  the  act  of  1804  should  "not  be  con- 
strued to  extend  or  have  any  relation  to  the  State  of  Georgia. " 
(Rev.  Stat.  1837,  p.  84.) 

Commissioners  Meet  in  Columbia  in  1808. 30  Commis- 
sioners of  the  States  of  North  and  South  Carolina,  however, 
met  in  Columbia,  S.  C,  on  the  11th  of  July,  1808,  and  among 
other  things  agreed  to  extend  the  line  between  the  two  States 
from  the  end  of  the  line  which  had  been  run  in  1772  "a  direct 
course  to  that  point  in  the  ridge  of  mountains  which  divides 
the  eastern  from  the  western  waters  where  the  35°  of  North 
latitude  shall  be  found  to  strike  it  nearest  the  termination  of 
said  line  of  1772,  thence  along  the  top  of  said  ridge  to  the 
western  extremity  of  the  State  of  South  Carolina.  It  being 
understood  that  the  said  State  of  South  Carolina  does  not 
mean  by  this  arrangement  to  interfere  with  claims  which  the 


BOUNDARIES  29 


United  States,  or  those  holding  under  the  act  of  cession  to  the 
United  States,  may  have  to  lands  which  may  lie,  if  any  there 
be,  between  the  top  of  the  said  ridge  and  the  said  35°  of  north 
latitude." 

Agreement  of  September,  1813. 3 1  But,  although  the 
commissioners  from  the  two  States  met  at  the  designated 
point  on  the  20th  of  July,  1813,  they  found  that  they  could 
not  agree  as  to  the  "practicability  of  fixing  a  boundary  line 
according  to  the  agreement  of  1808,"  and  entered  into  an- 
other agreement  "at  McKinney's,  on  Toxaway  river,  on  the 
fourth  day  of  September,  1813,"  by  which  they  recommended 
that  their  respective  States  agree  that  the  commissioners 
should  start  at  the  termination  of  the  line  of  1772  "and  run  a 
line  due  west  to  the  ridge  dividing  the  waters  of  the  north 
fork  of  the  Pacolet  river  from  the  waters  of  the  north  fork  of 
Saluda  river;  thence  along  the  said  ridge  to  the  ridge  that 
divides  the  Saluda  waters  from  those  of  Green  river;  thence 
along  the  said  ridge  to  where  the  same  joins  the  main  ridge 
which  divides  the  eastern  from  the  western  waters,  and  thence 
along  the  said  ridge  to  that  part  of  it  which  is  intersected  by 
the  Cherokee  boundary  line  run  in  the  year  1797;  from  the 
center  of  the  said  ridge  at  the  point  of  intersection  the  line 
shall  extend  in  a  direct  course  to  the  eastern  bank  of  Chatooga 
river,  where  the  35°  of  north  latitude  has  been  found  to  strike 
it,  and  where  a  rock  has  been  marked  by  the  aforesaid  com- 
missioners with  the  following  inscription,  viz.:  lat.  35°,  1813. 
It  being  understood  and  agreed  that  the  said  lines  shall  be  so 
run  as  to  leave  all  the  waters  of  Saluda  river  within  the  State 
of  South  Carolina;  but  shall  in  no  part  run  north  of  a  course 
due  west  from  the  termination  of  the  line  of  1772."  The 
commissioners  who  made  the  foregoing  agreement  were,  on 
the  part  of  North  Carolina,  John  Steele,  Montfort  Stokes,  and 
Robert  Burton,  and  on  the  part  of  South  Carolina  Joseph 
Blythe,  Henry  Middleton,  and  John  Blasingame.  Rev.  Stat. 
1837,  Vol.  ii,  p.  86). 

Commissioners  Appointed  in  1814.  Pursuant  to  the  above 
provisional  articles  of  agreement  North  Carolina  in  1814  ap- 
pointed General  Thomas  Love,  General  Montfort  Stokes  and 
Col.  John  Patton  commissioners  to  meet  other  commission- 
ers from  South  Carolina  to  run  and  mark  the  boundary  line 
between  the  two  States  in  accordance  with  the  recommenda- 


30         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

tion  of  the  commissioners  who  had  met  and  agreed,  "at  Mc- 
Kinney's,  on  Toxaway  river,  on  the  4th  of  September,  1813." 
(Rev.  Stat.  1837,  Vol.  ii,  p.  87). 

Around  Head  Springs  of  Saluda  River.  3  2  But  these 
commissioners  met  and  found,  "by  observations  and  actual 
experiments  that  a  course  due  west  from  the  termination  of 
the  line  of  1772  would  not  strike  the  point  of  the  ridge  divid- 
ing the  waters  of  the  north  fork  of  Pacolet  river  from  the 
waters  of  the  north  fork  of  Saluda  river  in  the  manner  con- 
templated, .  .  .  and  finding  also  that  running  a  line  on  top  of 
the  said  ridge  so  as  to  leave  all  the  waters  of  Saluda  river 
within  the  State  of  South  Carolina  would  (in  one  place)  run 
a  little  north  of  a  course  due  west  from  the  termination  of  the 
said  line  of  1772,"  agreed  to  run  and  mark  a  line  "on  the  ridge 
around  the  head  springs  of  the  north  fork  of  Saluda  river," 
and  recommended  that  such  line  be  accepted  by  the  two 
States. 

Termination  of  1772  Line  Starting  Point  of  1815  Line. 
Therefore  the  Legislature  of  North  Carolina  passed  an  act 
(Rev.  Stat.  1837,  Vol.  ii,  p.  89)  fixing  this  line  as  "beginning 
on  a  stone  set  up  at  the  termination  of  the  line  of  1772"  and 
marked  "N.  C.  and  S.  C.  September  fifteenth,  eighteen  hun- 
dred and  fifteen,"  running  thence  west  four  miles  and  ninety 
poles  to  a  stone  marked  N.  C.  and  S.  C,  thence  south  25° 
west  118  poles  to  the  top  of  the  ridge  dividing  the  waters  of  the 
north  fork  of  the  Pacolet  river  from  the  north  fork  of  the 
Saluda  river  .  .  .  thence  to  the  ridge  that  divides  the  Saluda 
waters  from  those  of  Green  river  and  thence  along  that  ridge 
to  its  junction  with  the  Blue  Ridge,  and  thence  along  the 
Blue  Ridge  to  the  line  surveyed  in  1797,  where  a  stone  is  set 
up  marked  N.  C.  and  S.  C.  1813;  and  from  this  stone  "a  direct 
line  south  68J4°  west  20  miles  and  11  poles  to  the  35°  of  north 
latitude  at  the  rock  in  the  east  bank  of  the  Chatooga  river, 
marked  latitude  35  AD:  1813,  in  all  a  distance  of  74  miles 
and  189  poles." 

Confirmation  of  Boundary  Lines.  In  1807  the  North 
Carolina  Legislature  passed  an  act  (Rev.  Stat.  1837,  Vol.  ii,  p.  90) 
which  "fully  ratified  and  confirmed"  these  two  agreements, 
and  another  act  (Rev.  Stat.  Vol.  ii,  p.  92)  reciting  that  these 
two  sets  of  commissioners  "in  conformity  with  these  articles 
of  agreement"  had  "run  and  marked  in  part  the  boundary 


BOUNDARIES  31 


line  between  the  said  States."  This  act  further  recites  that 
the  North  Carolina  commissioners  "have  reported  the  run- 
ning and  marking  of  said  boundary  line  as  follows: 

"To  commence  at  Ellicott's  rock,33  and  run  due  west  on  the  35°  of 
north  latitude,  and  marked  as  follows:  The  trees  on  each  side  of  the  line 
with  three  chops,  the  fore  and  aft  trees  with  a  blaze  on  the  east  and  west 
side,  the  mile  trees  with  the  number  of  miles  from  Ellicott's  rock,  on  the 
east  side  of  the  tree,  and  a  cross  on  the  east  and  west  side;  whereupon  the 
line  was  commenced  under  the  superintendance  of  the  undersigned  com- 
missioners jointly:  Timothy  Tyrrell,  Esquire,  surveyor  on  the  part  of 
the  commissioners  of  the  State  of  Georgia,  and  Robert  Love,  surveyor 
on  the  part  of  the  commissioners  of  the  State  of  North  Carolina — upon 
which  latitude  the  undersigned  caused  the  line  to  be  extended  just  thirty 
miles  due  west,  marking  and  measuring  as  above  described,  in  a  conspic- 
uous manner  throughout;  in  addition  thereto  they  caused  at  the  end  of 
the  first  eleven  miles  after  first  crossing  the  Blue  Ridge,  a  rock  to  be  set 
up,  descriptive  of  the  line,  engraved  thereon  upon  the  north  side,  Sep- 
tember 25,  1819,  N.  C,  and  upon  the  south  side  35  degree  N.  L.  G.;  then 
after  crossing  the  river  Cowee  or  Tennessee,  at  the  end  of  sixteen  miles, 
near  the  road,  running  up  and  down  the  said  river,  a  locust  post  marked 
thus,  on  the  South  side  Ga.  October  14,  1819;  and  on  the  north  side,  35 
degree  N.  L.  N.  C.,  and  then  at  the  end  of  twenty-one  miles  and  three 
quarters,  the  second  crossing  of  the  Blue  Ridge,  a  rock  engraved  on  the 
North  side  35  degree  N.  L.  N.  C.,  and  on  the  south  side  Ga.  12th  Oct., 
1819;  then  on  the  rock  at  the  end  of  the  thirty  miles,  engraved  thereon, 
upon  the  north  side  N.  C.  N.  L.  35  degrees,  which  stands  on  the  north  side 
of  a  mountain,  the  waters  of  which  fall  into  Shooting  Creek,  a  branch  of  the 
Hiwassee,  due  north  of  the  eastern  point  of  the  boundary  line,  between 
the  States  of  Georgia  and  Tennessee,  commonly  called  Montgomery's 
line,  just  six  hundred  and  sixty-one  yards." 

The  Legislature  then  enacted  "That  the  said  boundary- 
line,  as  described  in  the  said  report,  be,  and  the  same  is  hereby 
fully  established,  ratified  and  confirmed  forever,  as  the  bound- 
ary line  between  the  States  of  North  Carolina  and  Georgia." 

The  last  section  of  the  act  confirming  the  survey  of  the  line 
from  the  Big  Pigeon  to  the  Georgia  line,  as  run  and  marked 
by  the  commissioners  of  North  Carolina  and  Tennessee  in 
1821,  (Rev.  Stat.  1837,  Vol.  ii,  p.  97)  provides  "that  a  line  run 
and  known  by  the  name  of  Montgomery's  line,  beginning- 
six  hundred  and  sixty -one  yards  due  south  of  the  termination 
of  the  line  run  by  the  commissioners  on  the  part  of  this  State 
and  the  State  of  Georgia,  in  the  year  one  thousand  eight  hun- 
dred and  nineteen,  ending  on  a  creek  near  the  waters  of  Shoot- 
ing  Creek,   waters   of    Hiwassee,   then   along   Montgomery's 


32         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

line  till  it  strikes  the  line  run  by  commissioners  on  the  part 
of  North  Carolina  and  Tennessee  in  1821,  to  a  square  post 
marked  on  the  east  side  N.  C.  1821,  and  on  the  west  side 
Tenn.  1821,  and  on  the  south  side  G.  should  to  be  the  divid- 
ing line  between  North  Carolina  and  Georgia,  so  soon  as  the 
above  line  shall  be  ratified  on  the  part  of  the  State  of 
Georgia. " 

ORIGIN    OF   THE   WALTON    WAR. 

"North  Carolina  claimed  for  her  southern  boundary  the  35th  degree 
of  north  latitude.  The  line  of  this  parallel,  however,  was  at  that  time 
supposed  to  run  about  twelve  miles  north  of  what  was  subsequently 
ascertained  to  be  its  true  location.  Between  this  supposed  line  of  35° 
north  latitude  and  the  northernmost  boundary  of  Georgia,  as  settled 
upon  by  a  convention  between  that  State  and  South  Carolina  in  1787, 
there  intervened  a  tract  of  country  of  about  twelve  miles  in  width,  from 
north  to  south,  and  extending  from  east  to  west,  from  the  top  of  the 
main  ridge  of  mountains  which  divides  the  eastern  from  the  western 
waters  to  the  Mississippi  river.  This  tract  remained,  as  was  supposed, 
within  the  chartered  limits  of  South  Carolina,  and  in  the  year  1787  was 
ceded  by  that  State  to  the  United  States,  subject  to  the  Indian  right  of 
occupancy.  When  the  Indian  title  to  the  country  therein  described 
was  ceded  to  the  United  States  by  the  treaty  of  1798  with  the  Cherokees, 
the  eastern  portion  of  this  12-mile  tract  fell  within  the  limits  of  such 
cession.  On  its  eastern  extremity  near  the  head-waters  of  the  French 
Broad  river,  immediately  at  the  foot  of  the  main  Blue  Ridge  Mountains, 
had  been  located,  for  a  number  of  years  prior  to  the  treaty,  a  settlement 
of  about  fifty  families  of  whites,  who,  by  its  ratification  became  occupants 
of  the  public  domain  of  the  United  States,  but  who  were  outside  of  the 
territorial  jurisdiction  of  any  State.  These  settlers  petitioned  Congress 
to  retrocede  the  tract  of  country  upon  which  they  resided  to  South  Caro- 
lina, in  order  that  they  might  be  brought  within  the  protection  of  the 
laws  of  that  State.  A  resolution  was  reported  in  the  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives from  the  committee  to  whom  the  subject  had  been  referred, 
favoring  such  a  course,  but  Congress  took  no  effective  action  on  the  sub- 
ject, and  when  the  State  boundaries  came  finally  to  be  adjusted  in  that 
region  the  tract  in  question  was  found  to  be  within  the  limits  of  North 
Carolina."34 

The  Walton  War.  That  there  should  have  been  great 
confusion  and  uncertainty  as  to  the  exact  boundary  lines 
between  the  States  in  their  earlier  history  is  but  natural, 
especially  in  the  case  where  the  corners  of  three  States  come 
together,  and  still  more  especially  when  they  come  together 
in  an  inaccessible  mountainous  region,  such  as  characterized 
the  cornerstone  between  Georgia,  South    and    North    Caro- 


BOUNDARIES  33 


lina.  And  that  renegades  and  other  lawless  adventurers 
should  take  advantage  of  such  a  condition  is  still  more  natural. 
It  is,  therefore,  not  surprising  to  read  in  "The  Heart  of  the 
Alleghanies, "  (p.  224-5)  that:  "In  early  times,  criminals  and 
refugees  from  justice  made  the  fastnesses  of  the  wilderness 
hiding  places.  Their  stay,  in  most  cases,  was  short,  seclusion 
furnishing  their  profession  a  barren  field  for  operation.  A  few, 
however,  remained,  either  adopting  the  wild,  free  life  of  the 
chase,  or  preying  upon  the  property  of  the  community." 

Walton  County.  Such  a  community  existed  at  the  com- 
mencement of  the  last  century  on  the  head  waters  of  the 
French  Broad  river  in  what  are  now  Jackson  and  Transyl- 
vania counties.  Some  even  claimed  that  this  territory  be- 
longed to  South  Carolina.  But  Georgia,  about  December, 
1803,  created  a  county  within  this  territory  and  called  it 
Walton  county.  Georgia  naturally  attempted  to  exercise 
jurisdiction  over  what  it  really  believed  was  its  own  territory, 
and  North  Carolina  as  naturally  resisted  such  attempts. 
Consequently,  there  were  "great  dissentions,  .  .  .  the  said 
dissentions  having  produced  many  riots,  affrays,  assaults, 
batteries,  woundings  and  imprisonments." 

The  North  Carolina  and  Georgia  Line.  On  January 
13,  1806,  Georgia  presented  a  memorial  to  the  House  of  Rep- 
resentatives of  Congress,  complaining  that  North  Carolina 
was  claiming  lands  lying  within  the  State  of  Georgia,  and 
asking  that  Congress  interpose  and  cause  the  35th  degree  of 
north  latitude  to  be  ascertained  and  the  line  between  the  two 
States  plainly  marked. 

The  Twelve  Miles  "Orphan"  Strip.  This  was  referred 
to  a  committee  which,  on  February  12th,  reported  that  "be- 
tween the  latitude  of  35°  north,  which  is  the  southern  boundary 
claimed  by  North  Carolina,  and  the  northern  boundary  of 
Georgia,  as  settled  by  a  convention  between  that  State  and 
South  Carolina,  intervenes  a  tract  of  country  supposed  to  be 
about  twelve  miles  wide,  from  north  to  south,  and  extending 
in  length  from  the  western  boundary  of  Georgia,  at  Nicajack, 
on  the  Tennessee,  to  his  northeastern  limits  at  Tugalo,  and 
was  consequently  within  the  limits  of  South  Carolina,  and  in 
the  year  1887  it  was  ceded  to  the  United  States,  who  [sic] 
accepted  the  cession."  This  territory  remained  in  the  posses- 
sion of  the  United  States  until  1802,  when  it  was  ceded  to  the 

W.  N.  C. -3 


34         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

State  of  Georgia,  when  the  estimated  number  of  settlers  on  it 
was  800.  It  was  not  known  where  these  settlers  came  from; 
but  the  land  had  belonged  to  the  Cherokees  until  1798  when 
a  part  of  it  was  purchased  by  the  whites  by  treaty  held  at 
Tellico. 3  5 

Walton  County,  Georgia.  At  the  earnest  entreaty  of 
these  inhabitants  Georgia  in  1803  formed  the  inhabited  part 
of  this  territory  into  Walton  county  and  appointed  commis- 
sioners to  meet  corresponding  commissioners  to  be  appointed 
by  North  Carolina  to  ascertain  and  mark  the  line.  But 
Congress  took  no  definite  action  on  this  report. 

A  Survey  Agreed  Upon.  The  two  States,  in  1807,  came 
to  an  agreement  as  to  the  basis  of  a  survey.  In  a  letter  dated 
at  Louisville,  Ga.,  December  10,  1806,  Gov.  Jared  Irwin  to 
Gov.  Nathaniel  Alexander  of  North  Carolina,  enclosed  sun- 
dry resolutions  adopted  by  the  legislature  of  Georgia,  and 
announced  that  that  body  had  appointed  Thomas  P.  Carnes, 
Thomas  Flournoy  and  William  Barnett  as  commissioners  to 
ascertain  the  35th°  of  north  latitude  "and  plainly  mark  the 
dividing  line  between  the  States  of  North  Carolina  and  Geor- 
gia."  On  January  1,  1807,  Gov.  Alexander  enclosed  to  Gov. 
Irwin  a  copy  of  an  act  of  the  legislature  passed  at  the  preced- 
ing session  assenting  to  the  proposition  of  Georgia  and  ap- 
pointing John  Steele,  John  Moore  and  James  Welbourne 
commissioners  on  the  part  of  North  Carolina.  It  was  sub- 
sequently agreed  that  the  commissioners  from  both  States 
should  meet  at  Asheville  June  15,  1807;  Rev.  Joseph  Caldwell, 
president  of  the  North  Carolina  University,  was  the  scientist 
for  North  Carolina,  while  Mr.  J.  Meigs  represented  Georgia 
in  that  capacity. 

The  Record.  In  the  minute  docket  of  the  county  court 
of  Buncombe,  pp.  104  and  363,  the  proceedings  of  these  com- 
missioners are  set  forth  in  full,  showing  that  Thomas  Flour- 
noy, one  of  the  Georgia  commissioners,  did  not  attend  but 
that  on  the  18th  of  June,  1807,  the  others  met  at  Bun- 
combe court  house  and  agreed  on  a  basis  of  procedure,  the 
most  important  point  being  that  the  35th  parallel  was  to  be 
first  ascertained,  after  which  it  was  to  be  marked  and  agreed 
on  as  the  line.  This  they  proceeded  to  do,  with  the  result  that 
on  the  27th  of  June,  at  Douthard's  gap  on  the  summit  of  the 


BOUNDARIES  35 


Blue  Ridge,  they  signed  a  supplemental  agreement  to  the 
effect  that  they  had  discovered  by  repeated  astronomical  ob- 
servations that  the  35th  degree  of  north  latitude  is  not  to  be 
found  on  any  part  of  said  ridge  east  of  the  line  established  by 
the  general  government  as  the  temporary  boundary  between 
the  white  people  and  the  Indians,  and  having  no  authority  to 
proceed  over  that  boundary  "in  order  to  ascertain  and  mark 
that  degree,"  they  agreed  that  Georgia  had  no  right  to  claim 
any  part  of  the  territory  north  or  west  of  the  Blue  Ridge  and 
east  or  south  of  the  present  temporary  line  between  the  whites 
and  Indians ;  and  would  recommend  to  the  Georgia  Legislature 
that  it  repeal  the  act  which  had  established  the  county  of 
Walton  on  North  Carolina  soil.  Both  sets  of  commissioners 
then  agreed  to  recommend  amnesty  for  all  who  had  been  guilty 
of  violating  the  laws  of  either  State  under  the  assumption  that 
it  had  no  jurisdiction  over  that  territory. 

Following  is  the  story  as  to  how  they  had  reached  this  agree- 
ment: 

The  "Astonishment"  of  the  Georgians.36  These  scien- 
tists made  their  first  observations  at  the  house  of  Mr.  Amos 
Justice,  which  they  supposed  to  be  on  or  near  the  dividing  line 
of  35°  north  latitude,  but  discovered  that  it  was  "22  miles  with- 
in old  Buncombe,"  which  astonished  them;  for  Mr.  Sturges, 
the  Surveyor  General  of  Georgia,  had  previously  ascertained 
this  meridian  to  be  at  the  junction  of  Davidson's  and  Little 
rivers.  But,  said  the  Georgia  commissioners  in  their  report 
to  their  governor,  they  were  "accompanied  by  an  artist  [sic] 
appointed  by  the  government  [of  the  United  States]  whose 
talents  and  integrity  we  have  no  reason  to  doubt,"  whose 
observations  accorded  very  nearly  with  their  own;  they  "were 
under  the  necessity  of  suspending  our  astonishment  and  pro- 
ceeding on  the  duty  assigned  us. " 

Supplementary  Agreement  at  Caesar's  Head.  When 
they  got  to  the  junction  of  Davidson  and  Little  rivers  and 
found  that  they  were  still  17  minutes  north  of  the  35th  meridian, 
they  "proceeded  to  Caesar's  Head,  a  place  on  the  Blue  Ridge 
about  12  horizontal  miles  directly  south  and  in  the  vicinity 
of  Douthet's  Gap,  which  was  from  2'  57"  to  4'  54"  north  of 
the  35th  parallel.  They  then  signed  the  supplementary 
agreement  of  June  27. 


36         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Georgia's  Sporting  Blood.  On  December  28,  1808,  Gov. 
Irwin  of  Georgia  wrote  to  Governor  Stone  of  North  Carolina, 
asking  for  the  appointment  of  a  new  commission  on  the  part 
of  North  Carolina  to  meet  one  already  appointed  by  the  leg- 
islature of  Georgia;  but  Gov.  Stone  declined  in  a  communi- 
cation of  March  21,  1809,  in  which  he  states  that  it  "does  not 
readily  occur  to  us  on  what  basis  the  adjustment  is  to  rest,  if 
not  upon  that  where  it  now  stands — the  plighted  faith  of  two 
States  to  abide  by  the  determination  of  commissioners  mutu- 
ally chosen  for  the  purpose  of  making  the  adjustment  those 
commissioners  actually  made".  On  December  7,  1807,  North 
Carolina  had  adopted  and  ratified  the  joint  report  of  the  com- 
missioners of  the  two  States  and  on  December  18  "passed  an 
act  of  amnesty  for  offenders  within  the  disputed  territory. " 3  7 

Georgia  is  Snubbed.  3  7  But  Georgia  sent  still  another 
petition  to  Congress  by  way  of  appeal,  and  its  legislature  on 
December  5,  1807,  "put  forth  an  earnest  protest  against  the 
decision  arrived  at  by  their  own  commissioners."  But  al- 
though on  April  26,  1810,  Mr.  Bibb  of  Georgia,  asked  the 
United  States  to  appoint  some  person  to  run  the  dividing 
line,  and  it  was  referred  to  a  select  committee  on  the  27th  of 
the  following  December,  that  committee  never  reported. 
Georgia  must  have  become  reconciled,  however,  for  in  1819 
its  legislature  refused  relief  to  certain  citizens  who  had  claimed 
land  in  this  disputed  territory. 

Contour  Map  and  35th  Parallel.  The  late  Captain 
W.  A.  Curtis,  for  a  long  time  editor  of  the  Franklin  Press,  said, 
in  "A  Brief  History  of  Macon  County,"  (1905)  p.  23, 38  that 
"it  has  long  been  accepted  as  a  fact  that  the  southern  bound- 
ary of  Macon  and  Clay  counties,  constituting  the  State  line 
between  North  Carolina  and  Georgia,  is  located  on  the  35th 
parallel  of  north  latitude.  This  is  either  a  mistake  or  else  the 
latest  topographical  charts  are  incorrect.  According  to  the 
charts  a  straight  line  starts  from  the  top  of  Indian  Camp 
mountain  on  the  southern  boundary  of  Translyvania  county, 
654  miles  north  of  the  35th  parallel,  and  dips  somewhat  south 
of  west  until  it  reaches  the  Endicott  (Ellicut)  Rock  at  the 
corner  of  South  Carolina  exactly  on  the  35th  parallel,  and, 
instead  of  turning  due  west  at  this  place,  it  continues  on  a 
straight  line  for  about  twenty  miles,  or  to  833^2  degrees  west 
longitude,  which  is  near  the  top  of  the  Ridge  Pole,  close  by 


BOUNDARIES  37 


the  southwest  corner  of  Macon  county;  then  it  turns  due  west, 
running  parallel  with  the  35th,  and  about  one  mile  south  of  it, 
on  towards  Alabama.  One  peculiarity  of  this  survey  is  that 
Estatoa,  or  Mud  Creek  Falls,  which  has  long  been  considered 
as  being  in  Georgia,  are,  according  to  the  map,  in  North 
Carolina.  Mud  creek  crosses  the  State  line  a  few  yards 
above  the  falls  into  North  Carolina,  and  at  about  half  way 
between  the  falls  and  the  Tennessee  river  passes  back  into 
Georgia.  But,  by  examining  some  old  records  belonging  to 
the  State  Library  at  Raleigh  in  1881,  I  am  convinced  that  the 
line  between  the  States  of  Georgia  and  North  Carolina  has 
never  been  correctly  surveyed." 

The  North  Carolina  and  Tennessee  Boundary.  By 
the  Cessions  Act,  Revised  Statutes,  1837,  Vol.  ii,  p.  171,  North 
Carolina  authorized  one  or  both  United  States  Senators  or 
any  two  members  of  Congress  to  execute  a  deed  or  deeds  to 
the  United  States  of  America  of  the  lands  west  of  a  line  begin- 
ning on  the  extreme  height  of  the  Stone  mountain,  at  the 
place  where  the  Virginia  line  intersects  it,  running  thence 
along  the  extreme  height  of  the  said  mountain  to  the  place 
where  Watauga  river  breaks  through  it,  thence  a  direct  course 
to  the  top  of  the  Yellow  Mountain,  where  Bright's  road  crosses 
the  same,  thence  along  the  ridge  of  said  mountains  between 
the  waters  of  Doe  river  and  the  waters  of  Rock  creek  to  the 
place  where  the  road  crosses  the  Iron  mountain,  from  thence 
along  the  extreme  height  of  said  mountain,  to  where  Nole- 
chucky  river  runs  through  the  same,  thence  to  the  top  of  the 
Bald  mountain,  thence  along  the  extreme  height  of  the  said 
mountain  to  the  Painted  Rock,  on  French  Broad  river,  thence 
along  the  highest  ridge  of  the  said  mountain  to  the  place 
where  it  is  called  the  Great  Iron  or  Smoky  mountain,  thence 
along  the  extreme  height  of  said  mountain  to  the  place  where 
it  is  called  Unicoy  or  Unaka  mountain,  between  the  Indian 
towns  of  Cowee  and  Old  Chota,  thence  along  the  main  ridge 
of  the  said  mountain  to  the  southern  boundary  of  this  State." 

The  10th  section  provided  that  "this  act  shall  not  prevent 
the  people  now  residing  south  of  French  Broad,  between  the 
rivers  Tennessee  and  Pigeon,  from  entering  their  pre-emp- 
tions on  that  tract,  should  an  office  be  opened  for  that  purpose 
under  an  act  of  the  present  general  assembly." 


38         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

To  Pay  Debts  and  Establish  Harmony.  The  reasons 
for  making  this  cession  are  set  out  in  the  act  itself  and  are  to 
the  effect  that  Congress  has  "repeatedly  and  earnestly  recom- 
mended to  the  respective  States  .  .  .  claiming  or  owning 
vacant  western  territory,"  to  make  cession  to  part  of  the 
same,  as  a  further  means  "of  paying  the  debts  and  establish- 
ing the  harmony  of  the  United  States;"  "and  the  inhabitants 
of  the  said  western  territory  being  also  desirious  that  such 
cession  should  be  made,  in  order  to  obtain  a  more  ample  pro- 
tection than  they  have  heretofore  received."  The  act  also 
provides  that  neither  the  land  nor  the  inhabitants  of  the  ceded 
territory  shall  be  estimated  in  ascertaining  North  Carolina's 
proportion  of  the  common  expense  occasioned  by  the  war  for 
independence.  Also  that  in  case  the  lands  laid  off  by  North 
Carolina  for  the  "officers  and  soldiers  of  the  Continental  line" 
shall  not  "contain  a  sufficient  quantity  of  lands  fit  for  cultiva- 
tion to  make  good  the  quota  intended  by  law  for  each,  such 
officer  or  soldier  who  shall  fall  short  of  his  proportion  may 
make  up  the  deficiency  out  of  lands  of  the  ceded  territory." 
Having  been  admonished  by  the  claim  of  the  citizens  of  Watauga 
that  until  Congress  should  accept  the  ceded  territory  they 
would  be  in  a  state  "of  political  orphanage,"  the  legislature, 
later  in  the  session  of  1784,  had  been  careful  to  pass  another 
act  by  which  North  Carolina  retained  jurisdiction  and  sover- 
eignty over  the  land  west  of  the  mountains,  and  continued 
in  force  all  existing  North  Carolina  laws,  "until  the  same  shall 
be  repealed  or  otherwise  altered  by  the  legislative  authority 
of  said  territory."  The  act  ordering  the  survey  is  ch.  461, 
Potter's  Revisal,  p.  816,  Laws  1796. 

The  First  Tennessee  Boundary  Survey.  From  the 
narratives  of  David  Vance  and  Robert  Henry  of  the  battles 
of  Kings  Mountain 3  9  and  Cowan's  Ford,  as  well  as  from  the 
dairy  of  John  Strother,  can  be  gathered  a  fine  account  of  the 
survey  from  Virginia  to  the  Painted  Rock  on  the  French 
Broad  and  the  Stone  on  the  Cataloochee  Turnpike.  The  sur- 
vey began  on  the  20th  of  May  and  ended  Friday  the  28th  of 
June,  1799.  The  original  of  Strother's  diary  is  filed  in  the 
suit  of  the  Virginia,  Tennessee  &  Carolina  Steel  and  Iron  Com- 
pany vs.  Newman,  in  the  United  States  court  at  Asheville,  N.  C. 
The  actual  survey  began  May  22d,  "at  a  sugar-tree  and  beech 
on  Pond  mountain,  so  called  from  two  small  ponds  on  it." 


BOUNDARIES  39 


Both  trees  are  now  gone,  and  a  stone  four  feet  by  two  feet  by 
sixteen  inches  in  thickness,  is  buried  in  the  ground  where  they 
stood,  with  a  simple  cross,  east  and  west,  chiseled  upon  it.  Its 
upper  surface  is  level  with  the  ground,  and  it  was  placed  there 
in  1899  or  1900  by  a  Mr.  Buchanan  of  the  United  States 
coast  survey.  Marion  Miller  and  John  and  Alfred  Bivins 
assisted  him.  Mr.  Miller  still  lives  within  a  mile  and  a  half  of 
the  corner  rock.  Strother's  party  set  out  from  Asheville  May 
12,  and  reached  Capt.  Robert  Walls  on  New  River,  where 
Strother  arrived  on  the  17th,  and  met  with  Major  Mussendine 
Mathews,  of  whom  Judge  David  Schenck  says40  that  he  "rep- 
resented Iredell  county  in  the  House  of  Commons  from  1789 
to  1802  continuously.  He  was  either  a  Tory  or  a  Cynic,  it 
seems."  They  were  awaiting  the  arrival  of  Col.  David  Vance 
and  Gen.  Joseph  McDowell,  but  as  they  did  not  come, 
Strother  went  to  the  house  of  a  Mr.  Elsburg  on  the  18th. 

The  Party  Gathers.  Col.  Vance  and  Major  B.  Collins 
arrived  on  the  19th,  and  they  all  went  to  Captain  Isaac 
Weaver's.  They  were  General  Joseph  McDowell,  Col.  David 
Vance,  Major  Mussendine  Mathews,  commissioners;  John 
Strother  and  Robert  Henry,  surveyors;  Messers.  B.  Collins, 
James  Hawkins,  George  Penland,  Robert  Logan,  Geo.  David- 
son, and  J.  Matthews,  chain-bearers  and  markers;  Major  James 
Neely,  commissary;  two  pack-horse  men  and  a  pilot.  They 
camped  that  night  on  Stag  creek.  On  the  night  of  the  23d  of 
May  they  camped  "at  a  very  bad  place"  in  a  low  gap  at  the 
head  of  Laurel  Fork  of  New  river  and  Laurel  Fork  of  Holston 
at  the  head  of  a  branch,  "after  having  passed  through  extreme 
rough  ground  and  some  bad  laurel  thickets."  A  road  now  runs 
through  that  laurel  thicket,  built  since  the  Civil  War,  and 
runs  from  Hemlock  postomce,  where  there  is  now  a  narrow 
gauge  lumber  railroad  and  an  extract  plant,  to  Laurel  Bloom- 
ery,  in  Tennessee.  A  small  hotel  now  stands  half  on  the  North 
Carolina  and  half  on  the  Tennessee  side  of  the  line  those  men 
then  ran,  and  the  gap  is  called  "Cut  Laurel"  gap  because  it  is 
literally  cut  through  the  laurel  for  a  mile  or  more. 4 1  Thou- 
sands of  gallons  of  blockade  whiskey  used  to  be  carried  through 
that  gap  when  there  was  nothing  but  a  trail  there.  It  is  called 
by  Mr.  Strother  a  low  gap,  but  it  is  one  of  the  highest  in  the 
mountains.  On  the  28th  they  went  to  a  Mr.  Miller's  and  got 
a  young  man  to  act  as  a  pilot.     Strother  went  from  Miller's 


40         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

"to  Cove  creek,  where  I  got  a  Mr.  Curtis  and  met  the  company 
in  a  low  gap  between  the  waters  of  Cove  creek  and  Roan's  creek 
where  the  road  crosses  the  same,"  on  Wednesday  night,  the 
29th. 

Crossed  Boone's  Trail.  This,  in  all  probability,  is  the 
gap  through  which  Daniel  Boone  and  his  party  had  passed  in 
1769  on  their  way  to  Kentucky.  It  is  between  Zionville,  N.  C. 
and  Trade,  Tenn.,  and  the  gap  is  so  low  that  one  is  not  con- 
scious of  passing  over  the  top  of  a  high  mountain.  Tradition 
says  that  an  Indian  trail  went  through  the  same  gap,  and 
traces  of  it  are  still  visible  to  the  north  of  the  present  turn- 
pike. The  young  man  who  had  been  employed  as  a  pilot  at 
Mr.  Miller's  house  on  the  28th  was  found  on  the  29th  not  to 
be  a  "woodsman  and  of  course  he  was  discharged."  On 
June  1st  they  came  to  the  "Wattogo"  river,  where  they  killed 
a  bear,  "very  poor,"  upon  which  and  "some  bacon  stewed 
together,  with  some  good  tea  and  johnny  cake  we  made  a  Sab- 
bath morning  breakfast  fit  for  a  European  Lord."  There  is  a 
tradition  among  the  people  living  near  the  falls  of  the  Watauga 
at  the  State  line,  that  the  line  between  the  peak  to  the  north 
of  the  falls  and  the  Yellow  mountain  was  not  actually  run 
and  marked;  but  the  field  notes  of  both  Strother  and  Henry 
show  that  the  line  was  both  run  and  marked  all  the  way.  The 
reason  the  line  was  run  from  the  peak  north  of  the  Watauga 
to  the  bald  of  the  Yellow  was  because  the  act  required  it  to  be 
run  in  precisely  that  way;  the  language  being  "to  the  place 
where  Watauga  river  breaks  through  it  [the  mountain],  thence 
a  direct  course  to  the  top  of  the  Yellow  Mountain  where 
Bright's  road  crosses  the  same."  As  it  is  impossible  to  see 
the  Yrellow  from  the  river  at  the  falls  where  the  river  breaks 
through,  it  was  necessary  to  get  the  course  from  the  top  of  the 
peak  north  of  the  river. 

Rattlebugs.  On  Saturday,  June  1st,  they  came  upon  "a 
very  large  rattlebug, "  which  they  "attempted  to  kill,  but  it 
was  too  souple  in  the  heels  for  us. "  On  the  night  of  May  31st 
they  had  had  "severe  lightning  and  some  hard  slaps  [sic]  of 
thunder." 

Laurel  and  Ivy.  There  are  some  who,  nowadays,  contend 
that  ivy  and  laurel  did  not  grow  in  these  mountains  while  the 
Indians  occupied  them,  and  cite  as  proof  that  it  is  almost 


BOUNDARIES  41 


impossible  to  find  a  laurel  log  with  rings  indicating  more  than 
a  hundred  years  of  growth.  But  Bishop  Spangenburg  men- 
tions having  encountered  laurel  on  what  is  supposed  to  have 
been  the  Grandfather  mountain  in  1752,  and  John  Strother, 
in  his  diary  of  the  survey  between  Virginia  and  North  Caro- 
lina in  1799,  repeatedly  mentions  it,  both  before  and  after 
crossing  the  ridge  which  divides  the  waters  of  Nollechucky 
from  those  of  the  French  Broad.  What  are  now  known  as  the 
"Ivory  Slicks,"  is  a  tunnel  cut  through  the  otherwise  impen- 
etrable ivy  on  the  slope  between  the  Hang  Over  and  Dave 
Orr's  cabins  on  Slick  Rock,  south  of  the  Little  Tennessee. 

Two  Wagon  Roads  Across  the  Mountains.  Even  at 
that  early  date  there  seem  to  have  been  two  roads  crossing  the 
mountains  into  Tennessee,  for  the  very  next  call  of  the  statute 
is  "thence  along  the  ridge  of  said  mountain  between  the  waters 
of  Doe  river  and  the  waters  of  Rock  creek  to  the  place  where 
the  road  crosses  the  Iron  mountain."  Bright  used  to  live  at 
the  Crab  Orchard,  long  known  as  Avery's  Quarters,  about  a 
mile  above  Plum  Tree,  and  where  W.  W.  Avery  now  lives. 4  2 
On  the  5th  of  June  Major  Neely  "turned  off  the  line  today  and 
went  to  Doe  river  settlements  for  a  fresh  supply  of  provisions, " 
and  was  to  meet  them  at  the  Yellow  mountain,  where  on  that 
day  the  trees  were  "just  creeping  out  of  their  winter  garb," 
and  where  "the  lightning  and  thunder  were  so  severe  that 
they  were  truly  alarming."  From  "the  yellow  spot"  on  the 
Yellow,  whither  they  had  gone  to  take  observations,  but  were 
prevented  by  the  storm,  "we  went  back  and  continued  the  line 
on  to  a  low  gap  at  the  head  of  Roaring  or  Sugar  creek  of  Towe 
[sic]  river  and  a  creek  of  Doe  river  at  the  road  leading  from 
Morganton  to  Jonesborough,  where  we  encamped  as  wet  as 
we  could  be. "  This  fixes  the  main  road  between  North  Caro- 
lina and  the  Watauga  settlement,  which  had  been  finished  in 
1772,  and  over  which  Andrew  Jackson  was  to  pass  in  the 
spring  of  1788. 4  3  Robert  Henry  mentions  a  Gideon  Lewis 
as  one  of  the  guides  from  White  Top  mountain,  and  it  is  re- 
markable that  a  direct  descendant  of  his  and  having  his  name 
is  now  living  at  Taylor's  Valley,  near  Konarok,  Va.,  and  that 
several  others  now  live  near  Solitude  or  Ashland,  N.  C. 

Was  This  Ever  "No  Man's  Land"?  When  the  survey- 
ing party  came  to  the  Yellow  they  found  that  the  compass  had 
been  deflected  when  it  had  been  sighted  from  the  peak  just 


42  HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 


north  of  Watauga  Falls,  caused  doubtless  by  the  proximity  to 
the  Cranberry  Iron  mountain,  of  whose  existence  apparently 
they  then  had  no  knowledge.  Of  late  years  some  have  supposed 
that  the  "territory  between  the  Iron  mountain  and  the 
Blue  Ridge,  after  the  act  of  cession,  was  left  out  of  any  county 
from  1792  or  1793  till  1818  or  1822,  and  was  without  any  local 
government  till  it  was  annexed  to  Burke  county."  L.  D. 
Lowe,  Esq.,  in  the  Watauga  Democrat  of  July  3d,  1913,  gave 
the  following  explanation:  "It  is  quite  true  that  there  was 
no  local  government,  but  it  was  not  for  the  reason  that  this 
part  of  the  territory  was  not  claimed  by  Burke  county;  but  it 
was  because  the  lands  had  been  granted  to  a  few,  and  there 
were  only  a  limited  number  of  people  within  the  territory  to 
be  governed,  hence  there  was  very  little  attention  paid  to  it." 
In  previous  articles  in  the  same  paper  he  had  shown  that  "the 
reason  this  territory  had  not  been  settled  at  an  earlier  date" 
was  because  "the  State  had  been  paid  for  more  than  three 
hundred  thousand  acres  embraced  within  the  boundaries  of 
six  grants, "  but  had  failed  to  refer  to  the  fact  that  "these  grants 
or  some  of  them  had  especially  excepted  certain  other  grants 
within  their  boundaries — for  example,  certain  grants  to 
Waightstill  Avery,  Reuben  White,  John  Dobson  and  others. 
Within  the  past  twenty-five  years  it  has  been  clearly  demon- 
strated that  some  of  the  Cathcart  grants  run  with  the  Ten- 
nessee line  for  14  miles." 

Home  Comforts.  "Mr.  Hawkins  and  myself  went  down 
to  Sugar  creek  to  a  Mr.  Currey's,  where  we  got  a  good  supper 
and  a  bed  to  sleep  in,"  continues  the  diary.  Evidently  the 
food  in  the  camp  had  about  given  out,  for  we  hear  nothing 
more  of  meals  "fit  for  a  European  Lord;"  but,  instead,  of  the 
comforts  of  good  Mr.  Currey's  bed  and  board.  Here  too  they 
"took  breakfast  with  Mrs.  Currey,  got  our  clothes  washed 
and  went  to  camp,  where  Major  Neely  met  us  with  a  fresh 
supply  of  provisions.  It  rained  all  day  [and]  of  course  we  are 
still  at  our  camp  at  the  head  of  Sugar  creek." 

Pleasant  Beech  Flats.  The  next  day  they  crossed 
"high  spur  of  the  Roan  mountain  to  a  low  gap  therein  where 
we  encamped  at  a  pleasant  Beech  flat  and  good  spring. " 

Any  one  who  has  never  seen  one  of  these  "pleasant  beech 
flats"  would  scarcely  realize  what  they  are  like.  As  one 
ascends  any  of  the  higher  mountains  of  North  Carolina,  the 


BOUNDARIES  43 


size  of  all  the  trees  perceptibly  diminish,  especially  near  the 
six  thousand  feet  line,  to  be  succeeded,  generally,  on  the  less 
precipitous  slopes,  by  miniature  beech  trees,  perfect  in  shape, 
but  resembling  the  so-called  dwarf-trees  of  the  Japanese. 
They  really  seem  to  be  toy  trees. 

John  Strother's  Flowers  of  Rhetoric.  It  was  here 
that  they  "spent  the  Sabbath  day  in  taking  observations  from 
the  high  spur  we  crossed,  in  gathering  the  fir  oil  of  the  Balsam 
of  Pine  which  is  found  on  the  mountain,  in  collecting  a  root 
said  to  be  an  excellent  preventative  against  the  bite  of  a  rattle- 
snake, and  in  visioning  the  wonderful  scene  this  conspicuous 
situation  affords.  There  is  no  shrubbery  grows  on  the  tops 
of  this  mountain  for  several  miles,  say,  and  the  wind  has  such 
a  power  on  the  top  of  this  mountain  that  the  ground  is  blowed 
in  deep  holes  all  over  the  northwest  sides.  The  prospect 
from  the  Roan  mountain  is  more  conspicuous  [extensive?]  than 
from  any  other  part  of  the  Appelatchan  mountains." 

Cloudland.  A  modern  prospectus  of  the  large  and 
comfortable  hostelry,  called  the  Cloudland  hotel,  which  has 
crowned  this  magnificent  mountain  for  more  than  thirty  years, 
the  result  of  the  ardor  and  enterprise  of  Gen.  John  H.  Wilder 
of  Chattanooga,  Tenn.,  could  not  state  the  charms  of  this 
most  charming  resort,  now  become  the  sure  refuge  of  hundreds 
of  sufferers  from  that  scourge  of  late  summer  and  early  autumn 
and  known  as  hay  fever,  more  invitingly. 

Unsurpassed  View.  Of  the  magnificence  of  this  view  a 
later  chronicler  has  this  to  say:  "That  view  from  the  Roan 
eclipses  everything  I  have  ever  seen  in  the  White,  Green,  Cat- 
skill  and  Virginia  mountains. "  This  is  a  statement  put  into  the 
mouth  of  a  Philadelphia  lawyer  in  1882  by  the  authors  of 
"The  Heart  of  the  Alleghanies, "  p.  253. 

Mountain  Moonshine.  On  Monday  they  "proceeded 
on  between  the  head  of  Rock  creek  and  Doe  river,  and  en- 
camped in  a  low  gap  between  these  two  streams.  The  next 
day  they  went  five  or  six  miles  to  the  foot  of  the  Iron  mountain 
to  a  place  they  called  Strother's  Camp,  where  they  had  some 
good  songs,  "then  raped  [wrapped]  ourselves  up  in  our  blank- 
ets and  slep  sound  till  this  morning."  Here  "Cols.  Vance 
and  Neely  went  to  the  Limestone  settlements  for  a  pilot, 
returned  to  us  on  the  line  at  two  o'clock  with  a  Mr.  Collier  as 
pilot  and  two  gallons  whiskey,  we  stop,  drank  our  own  health 


44         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 


and  proceeded  on  the  line.  Ascended  a  steep  spur  of  the 
Unaker  mountain,  got  into  a  bad  laurel  thicket,  cut  our  way 
some  distance.  Night  came  on,  we  turned  off  and  camped  at 
a  very  bad  place,  it  being  a  steep  laurelly  hollow,"  but  the 
whiskey  had  such  miraculous  powers  that  it  made  the  place 
"tolerably  comfortable." 

Bad  Luck  on  the  Thirteenth.  On  Thursday  the  13th, 
if  they  were  superstitious,  the  expected  bad  luck  happened; 
for  here  they  were  informed  that  for  the  next  two  or  three 
days'  march  the  pack-horses  could  not  proceed  on  the  line — 
that  is,  could  not  follow  the  extreme  height  of  the  mountain 
crest.  This  was  a  calamity  indeed;  but  what  was  the  result? 
How  did  these  men  meet  it?     We  read  how: 

Between  Hollow  Poplar  and  Greasy  Cove.  "Myself 
[John  Strother]  together  with  the  chain-bearers  and  markers 
packed  our  provisions  on  our  backs  and  proceeded  on  with  the 
line,  the  horses  and  rest  of  the  company  was  conducted  round 
by  the  pilot  a  different  route.  We  continued  the  line  through 
a  bad  laurel  thicket  to  the  top  of  the  Unaker  mountain  and 
along  the  same  about  three  miles  and  camped  at  a  bad  laurelly 
branch."  On  Friday,  however,  they  came  "to  the  path 
crossing  [the  Unaker  mountain]  from  Hollow  Poplar  to  the 
Greasy  Cove  and  met  our  company.  It  rained  hard.  We 
encamped  on  the  top  of  the  mountain  half  a  mile  from  water 
and  had  an  uncomfortable  evening." 

Devil's  Creek  and  Lost  Cove.  It  seems  that  the  infor- 
mation Mr.  Collier  had  given  "respecting  the  Unaker  moun- 
tain was  false,"  and  Mr.  Strother  prevailed  upon  the  com- 
missioners to  discharge  him  on  Saturday  the  15th  of  June. 
They  then  crossed  the  Nolechucky  "where  it  breaks  through 
the  Unaker  or  Iron  mountain."  Here  it  is  that  that  match- 
less piece  of  modern  railroad  engineering,  the  C.  C.  &.  O.  R. 
R.,  disputes  with  the  "Chucky"  its  dominion  of  the  canon 
and  transports  from  its  exhaustless  coal  mines  in  Virginia 
hundreds  of  tons  of  the  finest  coal  to  its  terminus  on  the 
Atlantic  coast. 

Robert  Henry  Meets  His  Fate.  Here,  too,  it  being  again 
found  "impracticable  to  take  horses  from  this  place  on  the  line 
to  the  Bald  mountain,  Mr.  Henry,  the  chain-bearers  and 
markers,  took  provisions  on  their  backs  [and]  proceeded  on 
the  line  and  the  horses  went  round  by  the  Greasy  Cove  and 


BOUNDARIES  45 


met  the  rest  of  the  company  on  Sunday  on  the  top  of  the  Bald 
mountain,  where  we  tarried  till  Tuesday  morning." 

"Tarrying"  in  the  Greasy  Cove.  One  cannot  help 
wondering  why  they  "tarried"  here  so  long;  but  no  one  who 
has  ever  visited  that  "Greasy  Cove"  and  shared  the  hospital- 
ity of  its  denizens  need  long  remain  without  venturing  a  guess; 
for  it  is  a  pleasant  place  to  be,  with  the  "red  banks  of  Chucky" 
still  crumbling  in  the  bend  of  the  river  and  the  ravens  croak- 
ing from  their  cliffs  among  the  fastnesses  of  the  Devil's  Look- 
ing Glass  looming  near. 4  4  The  C.  C.  &  0.  have  their  immense 
shops  here  now,  covering  almost  a  hundred  acres  of  land. 

Vance's  Camp.  From  the  Bald  mountain,  now  in  Yancey 
county,  it  seems  that  Col.  Love  became  their  pilot;  and  five  or 
six  miles  further  on  in  "a  low  gap  between  the  head  of  Indian 
creek  and  the  waters  of  the  south  fork  of  Laurel,  we  encamped 
and  called  it  Vance's  Camp."  The  richness  of  the  moun- 
tains is  noted. 

The  Grier  Bald.  This  Bald  is  sometimes  called  the  Grier 
Bald  from  the  fact  that  David  Grier,  a  hermit,  lived  upon  it 
for  thirty-two  years. 4  5  Grier  was  a  native  of  South  Carolina 
who,  because  one  of  the  daughters  of  Col.  David  Vance 
refused  to  marry  him,  built  himself  a  log  house  here  in  1802, 
just  three  years  after  Colonel  Vance  had  passed  the  spot,  and 
it  is  probable  Grier  first  heard  of  it  through  this  gentleman. 
In  a  quarrel  over  his  land  he  killed  a  man  named  Holland 
Higgins  and  was  acquitted  on  the  ground  of  insanity  "and 
returned  home  to  meet  his  death  at  the  hands  of  one  of  Hol- 
land's friends." 

Boone's  Cove.  On  Wednesday  the  19th  of  June,  after 
having  suffered  severely  the  previous  night  from  gnats,  they 
went  to  "Boone's  Cove,  between  the  waters  of  Laurel  and 
Indian  creeks,"  while  on  the  20th  they  had  to  pass  over  steep 
and  rocky  and  brushy  knobs,  with  water  scarce  and  a  consid- 
erable distance  from  the  line.  All  day  Friday  their  horses 
suffered  from  want  of  water  and  food,  part  of  the  way  being 
impassable  for  horses;  while  on  Saturday  it  took  them  "four 
hours  and  23  minutes"  to  cut  their  way  one  and  one-fourth 
miles  to  the  top  of  the  mountain,  where,  after  getting  through 
the  laurel,  they  "came  into  an  open  flat  on  top  of  Beech  moun- 
tain where  we  camped  till  Monday  at  a  good  spring  and  excel- 
lent range  for  our  horses." 


46         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

A  Recruit  of  Bacon.  On  Monday,  the  24th  of  June, 
their  provisions  began  to  fail  them  again,  but  they  proceeded 
on  the  line  six  miles  and  "crossed  the  road  leading  from  Bar- 
nett's  Station  to  the  Brushy  Cove  and  encamped  in  a  low  gap 
between  the  waters  of  Paint  creek  and  Laurel  river."46 
They  had  a  wet  evening  here;  but  as  they  "suped  on  venison 
stewed  with  a  recruit  of  bacon  Major  Neely  brought  in  this 
day  from  the  Brushy  Cove  settlement,"  we  may  hope  their 
lot  was  not  altogether  desolate;  for  it  is  possible  that  this 
enterprising  commissary,  Major  Neely,  might  have  brought 
them  something  besides  that  "recruit  of  bacon";  for  it  will  be 
recalled  that  on  a  former  occasion  he  went  for  a  pilot  and 
returned  not  only  with  a  pilot  but  with  two  gallons  of  a  liquid 
that  "had  such  marvelous  powers"  that  it  made  a  very  "bad 
place"  "tolerably  comfortable." 

Barnett's  Station.  At  any  rate,  they  knew  they  were 
nearing  the  end  of  their  long  and  arduous  journey,  for  they 
had  now  reached  the  waters  of  Paint  creek,  which  they  must 
have  known  was  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  "Painted  Rock," 
their  destination.  The  Barnett  Station  referred  to  above 
was  probably  Barnard's  old  stock  stand  on  the  French  Broad 
river,  five  or  six  miles  below  Marshall. 

Off  the  Track  for  Awhile.  After  losing  their  way  on  the 
25th  and  "having  a  very  uncomfortable  time  of  it"  on  Paint 
creek,  they  got  on  the  "right  ridge  from  the  place  we  got  off 
of  it  and  proceeded  on  the  line  five  miles  and  encamped  between 
the  waters  of  F.  B.  R.  [French  Broad  river]  and  Paint  creek." 

"Hasey"  and  "Anctoous."  Thursday  27.  This  morning 
is  cloudy  and  hasey.  The  Commissioners  being  anctoous  to 
get  on  to  the  Painted  Rock  started  us  early";  but  they  took 
a  wrong  ridge  again  and  had  to  return  and  spend  an  uncom- 
fortable evening. 

Dropping  the  Plummet  from  Paint  Rock.  However, 
on  Friday,  the  28th  day  of  June,  1799,  they  reached  the  Painted 
Rock  at  last  and  measured  its  height,  finding  it  to  be  "107 
feet  three  inches  high  from  the  top  to  the  base,"  that  "it 
rather  projects  out,"  and  that  "the  face  of  the  rock  bears  but 
few  traces  of  its  having  formerly  been  painted,  owing  to  its 
being  smoked  by  pine  knots  and  other  wood  from  a  place  at 
its  base  where  travellers  have  frequently  camped.  In  the 
year  1790  it  was  not  much   smoked,  the   pictures   of   some 


BOUNDARIES  47 


humans,  wild  beasts,  fish  and  fowls  were  to  be  seen  plainly- 
made  with  red  paint,  some  of  them  20  and  30  feet  from  its 
base. " 

Animal  Pictures  Have  Disappeared.  How  much  more 
satisfactory  this  last  sentence  would  have  been  if  he  had  only 
added:  "I  saw  them."  For,  as  the  rock  appears  today, 
the  red  paint  seems  to  be  nothing  more  or  less  than  the  oxida- 
tion of  the  iron  in  the  exposed  surfaces,  while  all  trace  of 
"some  humans,  wild  beasts,"  etc.,  mentioned  by  him  have 
entirely  disappeared. 

The  Real  "Painted  Rock."  However,  he  leaves  us  in 
no  doubt  that  they  had  reached  the  real  Painted  Rock  called 
for  by  the  Act  of  Cession,  ceding  "certain  lands  therein  de- 
scribed"; for  he  goes  on  to  say  that,  while  "some  gentlemen 
of  Tennessee  wish  to  construe  as  the  painted  rock  referred  to" 
another  rock  in  the  French  Broad  river  "about  seven  miles 
higher  up  on  the  opposite  or  S.  W.  side  in  a  very  obscure 
place,"  that  "it  is  to  be  observed  that  there  is  no  rock  on 
French  Broad  river  that  ever  was  known  as  the  painted  rock 
but  the  one  first  described,  which  has,  ever  since  the  River 
F.  Broad  was  explored  by  white  men,  been  a  place  of  Pub- 
lick  Notoriety." 

Surpasses  a  "Best  Seller"  of  To-day.  This  is  the  next 
to  the  concluding  sentence  in  this  quaint  and  charming  nar- 
rative— a  narrative  that  one  hundred  and  fifteen  years 
after  it  was  penned  can  still  be  read  with  more  interest  than 
many  of  the  so-called  "best  sellers"  of  the  present  day. 

"We  then  went  up  to  the  Warm  Springs  where  we  spent 
the  evening  in  conviviality  and  friendship." 

The  Loneliness  of  Bachelorhood.  But  it  is  in  the  very 
last  sentence  that  one  begins  to  suspect  that  John  Strother 
was  at  that  time  a  bachelor,  for  we  read : 

"Saturday,  29th.  The  Company  set  out  for  home  to  which  place  I 
wish  them  a  safe  arrival  and  happy  reception,  as  for  myself  I  stay  at  the 
Springs  to  get  clear  of  the  fatigue  of  the  Tour." 

One  wonders  whose  bright  eyes  made  his  "fatigue"  so 
much  greater  than  that  of  the  others  and  kept  him  so  long 
at  the  springs. 

To  the  "Big  Pigeon."  The  line  from  the  Painted  Rock 
to  the  Big  Pigeon  was  run  a  few  weeks  later  on  by  the  same 


48         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

commissioners  and  surveyors;  but  we  have  no  narrative  of 
the  trip,  which,  doubtless,  was  without  incident,  though  the 
way,  probably,  was  rough  and  rugged. 

Second  Tennessee  Boundary  Survey.  North  Carolina 
having  acquired  by  the  treaty  of  February  27,  1819,  all  lands 
from  the  mouth  of  the  Hiwassee  "to  the  first  hill  which 
closes  in  on  said  river,  about  two  miles  above  Hiwassee  Old 
Town;  thence  along  the  ridge  which  divides  the  waters  of  the 
Hiwassee  and  Little  Tellico  to  the  Tennessee  river  at  Talas- 
see;  thence  along  the  main  channel  to  the  junction  of  the 
Cowee  and  Nanteyalee;  thence  along  the  ridge  in  the  fork  of 
said  river  to  the  top  of  the  Blue  Ridge;  thence  along  the  Blue 
Ridge  to  the  Unicoy  Turnpike  road;  thence  by  straight  line  to 
the  nearest  main  source  of  the  Chastatee;  thence  along  its  main 
channel  to  the  Chattahoochee,  etc.,"47  it  became  necessary 
to  complete  its  boundary  line  from  the  Big  Pigeon  at  the 
Cataloochee  turnpike  southwest  to  the  Georgia  line.  To 
that  end  it  passed,  in  1819  (2  R.  S.  N.  C,  1832),  an  act  under 
which  James  Mebane,  Montford  Stokes  and  Robert  Love 
were  appointed  commissioners  for  North  Carolina  for  the  pur- 
pose of  running  and  marking  said  line.  These  commissioners 
met  Alexander  Smith,  Isaac  Allen  and  Simeon  Perry,  com- 
missioners representing  Tennessee,  at  Newport,  Tenn.,  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Big  Pidgeon,  July  16,  1821;  and,  starting  from  the 
stone  in  the  Cataloochee  turnpike  road  which  had  been  set 
up  by  the  commissioners  of  1799,  they  ran  in  a  southwest- 
wardly  course  to  the  Bald  Rock  on  the  summit  of  the  Great 
Iron  or  Smoky  mountain,  and  continued  along  the  main  top 
thereof  to  the  Little  Tennessee  river.  The  notes  of  W.  Dav- 
enport's field  book  give  as  detailed  an  account  of  the  progress 
of  these  commissioners  and  surveyors  as  did  John  Strother's 
in  1799;  but  as  they  met  no  one  between  these  two  points 
there  was  little  to  relate.  The  same  or  another  party  might 
follow  the  same  route  to-day  and  they  would  meet  no  one. 
But  Mr.  Davenport  does  not  call  the  starting  point  a  "turn- 
pike." He  calls  it  a  "track,"  which  was  quite  as  much  as  it 
could  lay  claim  to,  the  present  turnpike  having  been  built 
from  Jonathan's  creek  up  Cove  creek,  across  the  Hannah  gap, 
passing  the  Carr  place  and  up  the  Little  Cataloochee,  through 
Mount  Sterling  gap,  as  late  as  the  fifties. 4  8  At  twenty  miles 
from  the  starting  point  they  were  on  "the  top  of  an  extreme 


BOUNDARIES  49 


high  pinnacle  in  view  of  Sevierville. "  At  22  miles  they  were  at 
the  Porter  gap,  from  which,  in  1853,  Eli  Arrington  of  Waynes- 
ville  carried  on  his  shoulders  W.  W.  Rhinehart,  dying  of 
milk-sick,  three  miles  down  the  Bradley  fork  of  Ocona  Luftee 
to  a  big  poplar,  where  Rhinehart  died.  Near  here,  although 
they  did  not  know  it  then,  an  alum  cave  was  one  day  to  be 
discovered,  out  of  which,  in  the  lean  years  of  the  Southern 
Confederacy,  Col.  William  H.  Thomas  and  his  Indians  were 
to  dig  for  alum,  copperas,  saltpeter  and  a  little  magnesia  to 
be  used  in  the  hospitals  of  this  beleaguered  land,  in  default  of 
standard  medicines  which  had  been  made  contraband  of  war. 

Arnold  Guyot  and  S.  B.  Buckley.  Here,  too,  Arnold 
Guyot,  the  distinguished  professor  of  geology  and  physical 
geography  of  Princeton  college,  came  in  1859,  following  Prof. 
S.  B.  Buckley,  and  made  a  series  of  barometric  measurements, 
not  alone  of  the  Great  Smoky  mountain  chain,  but  also  of  that 
little  known  and  rugged  group  of  peaks  wholly  in  Tennessee, 
known  as  the  Bull  Head  mountains. 

Doubtful  of  a  Road  Ever  Crossing  the  Smokies. 
Surveyor  Davenport  noted  a  low  gap  through  which  "if  there 
ever  is  a  wagon  road  through  the  Big  Smoky  mountain,  it 
must  go  through  this  gap."  Well,  during  the  Civil  War, 
Col.  Thomas,  with  his  "sappers  and  miners,"  composed  of 
Cherokee  Indians  and  Union  men  of  East  Tennessee,  did  make 
a  so-called  wagon  road  through  this  gap,  now  called  Collins 
gap;  and  through  it,  in  January,  1864,  General  Robert  B. 
Vance  carried  a  section  of  artillery,  dragging  the  dismounted 
cannon,  not  on  skids,  but  over  the  bare  stones,  only  to  be 
captured  himself  with  a  large  part  of  his  command  at  Causbey 
creek  two  days  later.  But  no  other  vehicle  has  ever  passed 
that  frightful  road,  save  only  the  front  wheels  of  a  wagon, 
as  it  is  dangerous  even  to  walk  over  its  precipitous  and  rock- 
ribbed  course.  No  other  road  has  ever  been  attempted,  and 
this  one  has  been  abandoned,  except  by  horsemen  and  foot- 
men, for  years.  Not  even  a  wagon  track  is  visible.  On  the 
7th  of  August  they  came  at  the  31st  mile  to  Meigs'  Post. 
At  the  34th  mile  they  came  in  view  of  Brasstown;  and  next 
day,  at  the  45th  mile,  they  reached  the  head  of  Little  river,  and 
must  have  been  in  plain  view  of  Tuckaleechee  Cove  and  near 
Thunderhead  mountain,  both  immortalized  by  Miss  Mary 
N.  Murfree  (Charles  Egbert  Craddock)  in  her  stories  of  the 

W.  N.  C. 4 


50         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Tennessee  mountains.  On  the  11th  they  were  at  the  head 
of  Abram's  creek,  which  flows  through  Cade's  Cove  into  the 
Little  Tennessee  at  that  gem  of  all  mountain  coves,  the  Har- 
den farm  at  Talassee  ford.  On  the  13th  they  came  to  a  "red 
oak  ...  at  Equeneetly  path  to  Cade's  cove."  This  is  only 
a  trail,  and  is  at  the  head  of  one  of  the  prongs  of  Eagle  creek 
and  not  far  from  where  Jake  and  Quil  Rose,  two  famous 
mountaineers,  lived  in  the  days  of  blockade  stills.  Of  course 
they  did  not  still  any!  On  this  same  unlucky  13th,  they 
came  to  the  top  of  a  bald  spot  in  sight  of  Talassee  Old  Town, 
at  the  57th  mile.  This  is  the  Harden  farm  spoken  of  above, 
and  is  a  tract  of  about  500  acres  of  level  and  fertile  land.  On 
the  16th  they  passed  over  Parsons  and  Gregory  Balds.  On 
this  day  also  they  crossed  the  Little  Tennessee  river  "to  a 
large  white  pine  on  the  south  side  of  the  river  at  the  mouth 
of  a  large  creek,  65th  mile."  From  there  on  to  the  Hiwassee 
turnpike  the  boundary  line  is  in  dispute,  the  case  being  now 
before  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States.  One  of  the 
marks  still  visible  is  that  made  on  the  19th,  at  the  86th  mile, 
"a  holly  tree  .  .  .  near  the  head  of  middle  fork  of  Tellico 
river."  They  were  then  close  to  what  has  since  been  known 
as  State  Ridge,  on  which  in  July,  1892,  William  Hall,  stand- 
ing on  the  North  Carolina  side  of  the  line,  was  to  shoot  and 
kill  Andrew  Bryson;  and  if  these  surveyors  had  not  done  their 
work  well,  Hall  might  have  suffered  severely;  for,  all  uncon- 
sciously, this  man  was  to  invoke  the  same  law  Carson  and 
Vance  and  other  noted  duellists  had  relied  on,  when  they 
"fought  across  the  State  line."49  Zim.  Roberts,  who  lives 
under  the  Devil's  Looking  Glass,  says  that  a  healthy  white 
oak  tree,  under  which  Hall  was  standing  when  he  fired  at 
Bryson,  began  to  die  immediately  and  is  now  quite  dead. 
On  the  20th  of  August  they  were  at  "the  89th  mile,  at  the 
head  of  Beaver  Dam"  creek  of  Cherokee  county,  N.  C,  and 
not  far  from  the  Devil's  Looking  Glass, "  an  ugly  cliff  of  rock, 
where  the  ridge  comes  to  an  abrupt  and  almost  perpendicular 
end.  On  that  day,  at  the  93d  mile,  they  came  to  "the  trad- 
ing path  leading  from  the  Valley  Towns  to  the  Overhill  set- 
tlements," reaching  the  95th  mile  on  that  path  before  they 
paused. 

That  Sahara-Like   Thirst.     On  the   24th,    at   the   96th 
mile,  they  were  on  the  top  of  the  Unicoy  mountain,  and  on 


BOUNDARIES  51 


the  same  day  they  reached  "the  hickory  and  rock  at  the 
wagon  road,  the  101st  mile,  at  the  end  of  the  Unicoy  moun- 
tain." It  was  here  that  tradition  says  that  the  Sahara-like 
thirst  overtook  the  party;  as  from  the  101st  mile  post  their 
course  was  "due  south  15  miles  and  220  poles  to  a  post  oak 
post  on  the  Georgia  line,  at  23  poles  west  of  the  72d  mile 
from  the  Nick-a-jack  Old  Town  on  the  Tennessee  river." 

Tryon's  Boundary  Line.  "In  the  spring  and  early  sum- 
mer of  1767  there  were  fresh  outbreaks  on  the  part  of  the 
Indians.  Governor  Tryon  had  run  a  boundary-line  between 
the  back  settlements  of  the  Carolinas  and  the  Cherokee  hunt- 
ting-grounds.  But  hunters  and  traders  would  persist  in  wan- 
dering to  the  west  of  this  line  and  sometimes  they  were 
killed."50 

Indian  Boundary  Lines.  Almost  as  important  as  the 
State  lines  were  the  Indian  boundary  lines;  but  most  of  them 
were  natural  boundaries  and  have  given  but  little  trouble. 
There  was  one  notable  exception,  however,  and  that  is  the 

Meigs  and  Freeman  Line.  According  to  the  map  of  the 
"Former  Territorial  Limits  of  the  Cherokee  Indians,"  ac- 
companying the  Fifth  Annual  Report  of  the  Bureau  of  Eth- 
nology, 1883-84,  there  were  three  lines  run  to  establish  the 
boundary  between  the  Cherokees  and  the  ceded  territory 
under  the  treaty  of  October  2,  1798;  the  first  of  which  was 
run  by  Captain  Butler  in  1798,  and  extending  from  "Meigs' 
post  on  the  Great  Stone  mountain  to  a  fork  of  the  Keowee 
river  in  South  Carolina  known  as  Little  river.  But,  accord- 
ing to  the  text51  the  line  was  not  run  till  the  summer  of 
1799,  and  is  described  as  "extending  from  Great  Iron  moun- 
tain in  a  southeasterly  direction  to  the  point  where  the  most 
southerly  branch  of  Little  river  crossed  the  divisional  line  to 
Tugaloo  river."  However,  "owing  to  the  unfortunate  de- 
struction of  official  records  by  fire,  in  the  year  1800,  it  is  im- 
possible to  ascertain  all  the  details  concerning  this  survey, 
but  it  was  executed  on  the  theory  that  the  "Little  River" 
named  in  the  treaty  was  one  of  the  northermost  branches  of 
Keowee  river."  52 

Return  J.  Meigs  and  Thomas  Freeman.  But,  "this  sur- 
vey seems  not  to  have  been  accepted  by  the  War  Depart- 
ment, for  on  the  3d  of  June,  1802,  instructions  were  issued 
by  the  Secretary  of  War  to  Return  J.  Meigs,  as  commissioner, 


52         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 


to  superintend  the  execution  of  the  survey  of  this  same  por- 
tion of  the  boundary.  Mr.  Thomas  Freeman  was  appointed 
surveyor."53  "There  were  three  streams  of  that  name  in 
that  vicinity.  Two  of  these  were  branches  of  the  French 
Broad  and  the  other  of  the  Keowee.' ' 

Expediency  Governed.  "If  the  line  should  be  run  to  the 
lower  of  these  two  branches  of  the  French  Broad,  it  would 
leave  more  than  one  hundred  white  families  of  white  settlers 
within  the  Indian  territory.  If  it  were  run  to  the  branch  of 
the  Keowee  river,  it  would  leave  ten  or  twelve  Indian  vil- 
lages within  the  State  of  North  Carolina."  It  was,  therefore, 
determined  by  Commissioner  Meigs  to  accept  the  upper 
branch  of  the  French  Broad  as  the  true  intent  and  meaning 
of  the  treaty,  and  the  line  was  run  accordingly;  whereby 
"not  a  single  white  settlement  was  cut  off  or  intersected,  and 
but  five  Indian  families  were  left  on  the  Carolina  side  of  the 

line." 

Location  of  the  "Meigs  Post."  In  a  footnote  (p.  181-2) 
Commissioner  Meigs  refers  to  the  plat  and  field-notes  of  Sur- 
veyor Freeman,  but  the  author  declares  that  they  cannot  be 
found  among  the  Indian  office  records. 5  4  Also  that  there  is 
"much  difficulty  in  ascertaining  the  exact  point  of  departure 
of  the  'Meigs  Line'  from  the  great  Iron  Mountains.  In  the 
report  of  the  Tennessee  and  North  Carolina  boundary  com- 
missioners in  1821  it  is  stated  to  be  "313^  miles  by  the  cource 
of  the  mountain  ridge  in  a  general  southwesterly  course  from 
the  crossing  of  Cataloochee  turnpike;  9}4  miles  in  a  similar 
direction  from  Porter's  gap;  21^  miles  in  a  northeasterly 
direction  from  the  crossing  of  Equovetley  Path,  and  333/2 
miles  in  a  like  course  from  the  crossing  of  Tennessee  river." 

...  It  was  stated  to  the  author  by  Gen.  R.  N.  Hood,  of 
Knoxville,  Tenn.,  that  there  is  a  tradition  that  "Meigs  Post" 
was  found  some  years  since  about  V/i  miles  southwest  of 
Indian  gap.  A  map  of  the  survey  of  Qualla  Boundary,  by 
M.  S.  Temple,  in  1876,  shows  a  portion  of  the  continuation 
of  "Meigs  Line  as  passing  about  V/i  miles  east  of  Qualla- 
town."  Surveyor  Temple  mentions  it  as  running  "south  50° 
east  (formerly  south  52^°  east)."  Meigs'  Post  should  have 
stood  at  the  eastern  end  of  the  Hawkins  Line  which  had  been 
run  by  Col.  Benj.  Hawkins  and  Gen.  Andrew  Pickens  in 
August,  1797,  pursuant  to  the  treaty  of  July  2,  1791,  com- 


BOUNDARIES  53 


mencing  1000  yards  above  South  West  Point  (now  Kingston) 
and  running  south  76°  east  to  the  Great  Iron  Mountain. 5  5 
"From  this  point  the  line  continued  in  the  same  course  until 
it  reached  the  Hopewell  treaty  line  of  1785,  and  was  called 
the  " Pickens  line."56  The  Hopewell  treaty  line  ran  from  a 
point  west  of  the  Blue  Ridge  and  about  12  miles  east  of  Hen- 
dersonville,  crossed  the  Swannanoa  river  just  east  of  Asheville, 
and  went  on  to  McNamee's  camp  on  the  Nollechucky  river, 
three  miles  southeast  of  Greenville,  Tenn.  "The  supposition 
is  that  as  the  commissioners  were  provided  with  two  survey- 
ors, they  separated,  Col.  Hawkins,  with  Mr.  Whitner  as  sur- 
veyor, running  the  line  from  Clinch  river  to  the  Great  Iron 
Mountains,  and  Gen.  Pickens,  with  Col.  Kilpatrick  as  sur- 
veyor, locating  the  remainder  of  it.  This  statement  is  veri- 
fied so  far  as  Gen.  Pickens  is  concerned  by  his  own  written 
statement."  67 

Col.  Stringfield  Follows  the  Line.  George  H.  Smathers, 
Esq.,  an  attorney  of  Waynes ville,  says  there  is  a  tradition 
that  the  Meigs  and  Freeman  posts  were  really  posts  set  up 
along  this  line,  and  not  marks  made  on  living  trees;  but  Col. 
W.  W.  Stringfield  of  the  same  place  writes  that  he  measured 
nine  and  one-half  miles  southwestwardly  of  Porter's  gap 
"and  found  Meigs'  post,  a  torn-down  stone  pile  on  the  top 
of  a  smooth  mountain.  .  .  .  Meigs'  and  Freeman's  line  was 
as  well  marked  as  any  line  I  ever  saw;  I  traced  this  line 
south  523^  °  east,  from  Scott's  creek  to  the  top  of  Tennessee 
mountain,  between  Haywood  and  Transylvania  counties,  a 
few  miles  south  of  and  in  full  view  of  the  Blue  Ridge  or  South 
Carolina  line  ...  I  found  a  great  many  old  marks,  evidently 
made  when  the  line  was  first  run  in  1802.  I  became  quite 
familiar  with  this  line  in  later  years,  and  ran  numerous  lines 
in  and  around  the  same  in  the  sale  of  the  Love  "Speculation" 
lands.  .  .  .  Many  of  these  old  marked  trees  can  still  be  found 
all  through  Jackson  county,  on  the  waters  of  Scott's  creek, 
Cane  or  Wurry-hut,  Caney  Fork,  Cold  or  Tennessee  creek, 
and  others."  5  8  When  he  was  running  the  line  he  was  told  by 
Chief  Smith  of  the  Cherokees,  Wesley  Enloe,  then  over  80 
years  old,  Dr.  Mingus,  then  92  years  old,  Eph.  Connor  and 
others,  that  he  was  on  the  Meigs  line. 

Return  Jonathan  Meigs.  "He  was  the  firstborn  son 
of  his  parents,  who  gave  him  the  somewhat  peculiar  name 


54         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Return  Jonathan  to  commemorate  a  romantic  incident  in 
their  own  courtship,  when  his  mother,  a  young  Quakeress 
called  back  her  lover  as  he  was  mounting  his  horse  to  leave 
the  house  forever  after  what  he  had  supposed  was  a  final 
refusal.  The  name  has  been  handed  down  through  five  gen- 
erations." 59  .    .    . 

Treaty  of  1761. 60  The  French  having  secured  the  active 
sympathy  of  the  Cherokees  in  their  war  with  Great  Britain, 
Governor  Littleton  of  South  Carolina,  marched  against  the 
Indians  and  defeated  them,  and  in  1760,  concluded  a  treaty 
with  them,  under  which  the  Cherokees  agreed  to  kill  or  im- 
prison every  Frenchman  who  should  come  into  their  country 
during  the  war.  But  as  the  Cherokees  still  continued  hos- 
tile South  Carolina  sent  Col.  Grant,  who  conquered  them  in 
1761,  and  concluded  a  treaty  by  which  "the  boundaries  be- 
tween the  Indians  and  the  settlements  were  declared  to  be  the 
sources  of  the  great  rivers  flowing  into  the  Atlantic  ocean." 
As  the  Blue  Ridge  is  an  unbroken  watershed  south  of  the 
Potomac  river,  this  made  that  mountain  range  the  true  east- 
ern boundary  of  the  Indians.  This  treaty  remained  in  force 
till  the  treaty  of  1772  and  the  purchase  of  1775  to  the  north- 
ern part  of  that  boundary,  or  the  land  lying  west  of  the  Blue 
Ridge  and  north  of  the  Nollechucky  river.  It  remained  in 
force  as  to  all  land  west  and  south  of  that  territory  till  1785 
(November  28),  called  the  treaty  of  Hopewell. 

Treaty  of  1772  and  Purchase  of  1775.  The  Virginia 
authorities  in  the  early  part  of  1772  concluded  a  treaty  with 
the  Cherokees  whereby  a  boundary  line  was  fixed  between 
them,  which  was  to  run  west  from  White  Top  mountain,  which 
left  those  settlers  on  the  Watauga  river  within  the  Indian 
limits,  whereupon,  as  a  measure  of  temporary  relief,  they 
leased  for  a  period  of  eight  years  all  the  country  on  the  waters 
of  the  Watauga  river.  "Subsequently  in  1775  (March  19) 
they  secured  a  deed  in  fee  simple  therefor, "...  and  it  em- 
braced all  the  land  on  "the  waters  of  the  Watauga,  Holston, 
and  Great  Canaway  [sic]  or  New  river."  This  tract  began 
"on  the  south  or  southwest  of  the  Holston  river  six  miles 
above  Long  Island  in  that  river;  thence  a  direct  line  in  nearly 
a  south  course  to  the  ridge  dividing  the  waters  of  Watauga 
from  the  waters  of  Nonachuckeh  (Ncllechucky  or  Toe)  and 
along  the  ridge  in  a  southeasterly  direction  to  the  Blue  Ridge 


BOUNDARIES  55 


or  line  dividing  North  Carolina  from  the  Cherokee  lands; 
thence  along  the  Blue  Ridge  to  the  Virginia  line  and  west  along 
such  line  to  the  Holston  river;  thence  down  the  Holston  to  the 
beginning,  including  all  waters  of  the  Watauga,  part  of  the 
waters  of  Holston,  and  the  head  branches  of  the  New  river 
or  Great  Canaway,  agreeable  to  the  aforesaid  boundaries."  6 1 

Treaty  of  Hopewell,  1785.  Hopewell  is  on  the  Keowee 
river,  fifteen  miles  above  its  junction  with  the  Tugaloo.  It  was 
here  that  the  treaty  that  was  to  move  the  boundary  line  west 
of  the  Blue  Riclge  was  made.  This  line  began  six  miles  southeast 
of  Greenville,  Tenn.,  where  Camp  or  McNamee's  creek  empties 
into  the  Nollechucky  river;  and  ran  thence  a  southeast  course 
"to  Rutherford's  War  Trace,"  ten  or  twelve  miles  west  of 
the  Swannanoa  settlement.  This  "War  Trace"  was  the  route 
followed  by  Gen.  Griffith  Rutherford,  when,  in  the  summer 
of  1776,  he  marched  2,400  men  through  the  Swannanoa  gap, 
passed  over  the  French  Broad  at  a  place  still  known  as  the 
"War  Ford ";  continued  up  the  valley  of  Hominy  creek, 
leaving  Pisgah  mountain  to  the  left,  and  crossing  Pigeon  river 
a  little  below  the  mouth  of  East  Fork;  thence  through  the 
mountains  to  Richland  creek,  above  the  present  town  of 
Waynes ville,  etc.  From  the  point  where  the  line  struck  the 
War  Trace  it  was  to  go  "to  the  South  Carolina  Indian  bound- 
ary." Thus,  the  line  probably  ran  just  east  of  Marshall, 
Asheville  and  Hendersonville  to  the  South  Carolina  line, 
though  its  exact  location  was  rendered  "unnecessary  by  rea- 
son of  the  ratification  in  February,  1792,  of  the  Cherokee 
treaty  concluded  July  2,  1791,  wherein  the  Indian  boundary 
line  was  withdrawn  a  considerable  distance  to  the  west."62 

North  Carolina's  Indian  Reservation.  Meantime,  how- 
ever, North  Carolina  being  a  sovereign  State,  bound  to  the 
Confederation  of  the  Union  only  by  the  loose  articles  of 
confederation,  in  1883,  set  apart  an  Indian  reservation  of  its 
own;  which  ran  from  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Pigeon  to  its  source 
and  thence  along  the  ridge  between  it  and  the  waters  of  the 
Tuckaseigee  (Code  N.  C,  Vol.  ii,  sec.  2346)  to  the  South 
Carolina  line.  This,  however,  does  not  seem  to  have  been 
supported  by  any  treaty.  The  State  had  simply  moved  the 
Indian  boundary  line  twenty  miles  westward  to  the  Pigeon 
river  at  Canton. 


56         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Treaties  of  1791  and  1792.  The  treaty  of  1791  was  not 
satisfactory  to  the  Indians  and  another  treaty  supplemental 
thereto  was  made  February  17,  1792,  which  in  its  turn  was 
followed  by  one  of  January  21,  1795,  and  another  of  October 
2,  1798.  They  all  call  for  what  was  afterwards  run  and  called 
the  Meigs  and  Freeman  line,  treated  fully  under  that  head. 6  3 

Treaty  of  February  27,  1819.  This  treaty  cedes  all 
land  from  the  point  where  the  Hiwassee  river  empties  into 
the  Tennessee,  thence  along  the  first  ridge  which  closes  in  on 
said  river,  two  miles  above  Hiwassee  Old  Town;  thence  along 
the  ridge  which  divides  the  waters  of  Hiwassee  and  Little 
Tellico  to  the  Tennessee  river  at  Talassee;  thence  along  the 
main  channel  to  the  junction  of  the  Nanteyalee;  thence  along 
the  ridge  in  the  fork  of  said  river  to  the  top  of  the  Blue  Ridge; 
thence  along  the  Blue  Ridge  to  the  Unicoy  Turnpike,  etc. 
This  moved  the  line  twenty  miles  west  of  what  is  now  Frank- 
lin. 6  4 

Treaty  of  New  Echota,  December  29,  1835.  By  this 
treaty  the  Cherokees  gave  up  all  their  lands  east  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi river,  and  all  claims  for  spoliation  for  $5,000,000,  and 
the  7,000,000  acres  of  land  west  of  the  Mississippi  river,  guar- 
anteed them  by  the  treaties  of  1828  and  1833.  This  was  the 
treaty  for  their  removal,  treated  in  the  chapter  on  the  East- 
ern Band. 6  5 

The  Rainbow  Country.  During  the  year  1898  while 
Judge  H.  G.  Ewart  was  acting  as  District  Judge  of  the  U.  S. 
Court  at  Asheville,  some  citizens  of  New  Jersey  obtained  a 
judgment  against  the  heirs  of  the  late  Messer  Fain  of  Chero- 
kee county  for  certain  land  in  the  disputed  territory,  known  as 
the  Rainbow  Country  because  of  its  shape.  The  sheriff  of 
Monroe  county,  Tennessee,  armed  with  a  writ  of  possession 
from  the  Tennessee  court,  entered  the  house  occupied  by  one 
of  Fain's  sons  and  took  possession.  Fain  had  him  arrested 
for  assault  and  trespass,  and  he  sued  out  a  writ  of  habeas 
corpus  before  Judge  Ewart,  who  decided  the  case  in  favor  of 
Fain;  but  the  sheriff  appealed  to  the  Circuit  Court  of  Appeals 
for  the  4th  circuit,  and  Judge  Ewart  was  reversed.  There- 
upon Fain  sued  out  a  writ  of  certiorari  before  the  Supreme 
Court  of  the  United  States;  but  after  the  writ  had  been 
granted   Fain   decided  not  to   pay  for   the   printing   of   the 


BOUNDARIES  57 


large  record,  and  the  case  was  dismissed  for  want  of  prose- 
cution. This  was  one  of  the  forerunners  to  litigation  with 
Tennessee. 

Recent  Boundary  Disputes.  There  is  now  pending  be- 
fore the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States  a  controversy 
between  the  State  of  Tennessee  and  the  State  of  North  Caro- 
lina over  what  is  known  as  the  " Rainbow"  country  at  the 
head  of  Tellico  creek,  Cherokee  county.  Tennessee  claims 
that  the  line  should  have  followed  the  main  top  of  the  Unaka 
mountains  instead  of  leaving  the  main  ridge  and  crossing  one 
prong  of  Tellico  creek  which  rises  west  of  the  range.  This  is 
probably  what  should  have  been  done  if  the  commissioners 
who  ran  the  line  in  1821  had  followed  the  text  of  the  statute 
literally;  but  they  left  the  main  top  and  crossed  this  prong  of 
Tellico  creek,  and  their  report  and  field-notes,  showing  that 
this  had  been  done  were  returned  to  their  respective  States 
and  the  line  as  run  and  marked  was  adopted  by  Tennessee  as 
well  as  by  North  Carolina. 6  6 

Lost  Cove  Boundary  Line.  In  1887,  Gov.  Scales,  under 
the  law  providing  for  the  appointment  of  a  commission  to 
meet  another  from  Tennessee  to  determine  at  what  point  on 
the  Nollechucky  river  the  State  line  crosses,  appointed  Cap- 
tain James  M.  Gudger  for  North  Carolina,  J.  R.  Neal  be- 
ing his  surveyor;  but  there  was  a  disagreement  from  the 
outset  between  the  North  Carolina  and  the  Tennessee  com- 
missioners. The  latter  insisted  on  going  south  from  the  high 
peak  north  of  the  Nollechucky  river,  which  brought  them  to 
the  deep  hole  at  the  mouth  of  lost  Cove  creek,  at  least  three 
quarters  of  a  mile  east  of  the  point  at  which  the  line  run  for 
the  North  Carolina  commissioner  reached  the  same  stream, 
which  was  a  few  hundred  yards  below  the  mouth  of  Devil's 
creek.  The  North  Carolina  commissioner  claimed  to  have 
the  original  field-notes  of  the  surveyors,  and  followed  them 
strictly.  Neither  side  would  yield  to  the  other,  and  the  line 
remains  as  it  was  originally  run  in  1799.  The  notes  followed 
by  Captain  Gudger  were  deposited  by  him  with  his  report 
with  the  Secretary  of  State  at  Raleigh.  See  Pub.  Doc.  1887, 
and  Dugger  v.  McKesson,  100  N.  C,  p.  1. 

Macon  County  Line.  The  legislature  of  North  Carolina 
provided  for  a  survey  between  Macon  County,  N.  C,  and 
Rabun  county,  Ga.,  in  1879,  from  Elliquet's  Rock,  the  cor- 


58  HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

ner  of  North  Carolina,  South  Carolina  and  Georgia,  to  the 
"Locust  Stake",  and  as  much  further  as  the  line  was  in  dis- 
pute. L.  Howard  of  Macon  county  was  the  commissioner  for 
North  Carolina.     (Ch.  387,  Laws  1883.) 

Tennessee  Line  Between  Cherokee  and  Graham.  The 
line  between  these  two  counties  and  Tennessee  was  ordered 
located  by  the  county  surveyors  of  the  counties  named  ac- 
cording to  the  calls  of  the  act  of  1821.  See  Ch.  202,  Pub. 
L.  1897,  p.  343. 

NOTES. 

'Asheville's  Centenary. 
2Col.  Rec,  Vol.  V,  p.  xxxix. 
3Ibid. 
<Ibid. 

sHill,  p.  31-32. 
"Ibid.,  p.  33. 
'Ibid.,  p.  89. 
sibid.,  p.  88. 
'Ibid.,  89. 

"Col.  Rec,  Vol.  Ill,  p.  23  et  seq. 
"Ibid.,  Vol.  II,  p.  790. 
i2lbid.,  p.  794. 

13"The  line  thus  run  was  accepted  by  both  Colonies  and  remains  still  the  boundary 
between  the  two  states."     Hill,  89. 
"Byrd,  190. 

"Col.  Rec,  Vol.  II,  p.  223. 
"Ibid.,  Vol.  I,  p.  xxiv. 
"Col.  Rec,  Vol.  IV,  p.  xiii. 

18The  large  green,  treeless  spot  on  the  top  of  this  mountain,  covered  with  grass,  is  sur- 
rounded by  a  forest  of  singular  trees,  locally  known  as  "Lashorns. "  From  a  sketch  of 
Wilborn  Waters,  "The  Hermit  Hunter  of  White  Top,"  by  J.  A.  Testerman,  of  Jefferson, 
Ashe  Co.,  N.  C,  the  following  description  of  these  trees  is  taken:  "They  have  a  diameter 
of  from  15  to  30  feet,  and  their  branches  will  hold  the  weight  of  several  persons  at  one  time 
on  their  level  tops.  They  resemble  the  Norway  Spruce,  but  do  not  thrive  when  trans- 
planted."   The  diameter  given  above  refers  to  that  of  the  branches,  not  of  the  trunks. 

I9Ch.  144,  Laws  1779,  377,  Potter's  Revisal;  W.  C.  Kerr  in  Report  of  Geological  Survey 
of  N.  C,  Vol.  I,  (1875),  p.  2,  states  that  this  survey  carried  the  line  beyond  Bristol,  Tenn.- 
Va. 

20A  glance  at  any  map  of  Tennessee  reveals  the  fact  that  the  line  does  not  run  "due 
west"  all  the  way;  but  that  does  not  concern  North  Carolina  now. 
21Roosevelt,  Vol.  I,  217. 

22Oglethorpe  did  not  sail  for  Savannah  till  November  17,  1732. 
2 'Its  head  waters  are  in  Rockingham  and  Guilford  counties. 

2  4The  mouth  of  the  Waccamaw  river  must  be  90  miles  southwest  from  that  of  the  Cape 
Fear. 

"Col.  Rec,  Vol.  IV,  8. 
26Mear  means  a  boundary,  a  limit. 

"Col.  Bee,  Vol.  IV,  p.  vii,  and  W.  C.  Kerr's  Report  of  the  Geological  Survey  of  N.  C, 
(1875). 

28It  was  in  the  Waxhaw  settlement  that  Andrew  Jackson  was  born,  March  15,  1767. 
2 9Potter's  Revisal,  p.  1280. 

3  "Potter's  Revisal,  1131. 
31Ibid.,  1280. 

32Ibid.,  1318. 

33EUicott's  Bock  is  on  the  west  bank  of  Chatooga  river.  Rev.  St.  N.  C,  Vol.  II,  145. 
Andrew  Ellicott  had  been  previously  appointed  to  survey  the  line  under  the  Creek  treaty 
of  1790,  according  to  Fifth  Eth.  Rep.,  p.  163. 

"Fifth  Eth.  Rep.,  p.  182. 

3&N.  C.  Booklet,  Vol.  Ill,  No.  12. 

3  "Ibid. 

"Ibid. 

38By  the  late  C.  D.  Smith,  1905. 

3 'Draper,  259. 

40In  the  Narrative  of  Vance  and  Henry  of  the  Battle  of  Kings  Mountain,  published  in 
1892  by  T.  F.  Davidson. 

4 Ambrose  gap  is  a  few  miles  southwest,  and  is  so  called  because  a  free  negro  of  that 
name  built  a  house  across  the  State  line  in  this  gap,  and  when  he  died  his  grave  was  dug 
halt  in  Tennessee  and  half  in  North  Carolina,  according  to  local  tradition. 

"Draper,  176. 

43Allison,  p.  4. 


BOUNDARIES  59 


44Robert  Henry  had  gone  to  get  Robert  Love  as  a  pilot;  and  a  few  years  later  he  mar- 
ried Love's  daughter  Dorcas. 

4SZeigler  &  Grosscup,  pp.  271-2-3. 

"Bishop  Asbury's  diary  shows  that  he  was  at  Barnett's  Station,  November  4,  1802. 

"Fifth  Eth.,  219,  220. 

"Laws  1850-51,  ch.  157.  But  there  was  a  road  of  some  kind,  for  Bishop  Asbury 
mentions  crossing  Cataloochee  on  a  log  in  December,  1810.  "But  O  the  mountain — 
height  after  height,  and  five  miles  over!" 

"114  N.  C.  Rep.,  909,  and  115  N.  C,  811.    Also  Laws  1895,  ch.  169. 

"Thwaite,  69. 

"Fifth  Eth.,  181. 

6  2Ibid. 

"Ibid. 

"Ibid.,  181. 

"Ibid.,  168. 

"Ibid. 

"Ibid.,  168. 

"154  N.  C.  Rep.,  79. 

"Nineteenth  Eth.,  214. 

"Fifth  Eth.,  146. 

"Ibid. 

62lbid.,  156-157. 

"Ibid.,  158-159,  169. 

"Ibid.,  219. 

"Ibid.,  253. 

"Rev.  St.  N.  C,  Vol.  Ill,  96-97. 


CHAPTER  III 
COLONIAL  DAYS 

Though  the  mountains  were  not  settled  during  colonial 
days  except  north  of  the  ridge  between  the  Toe  and  Watauga 
rivers,  the  people  who  ultimately  crossed  the  Blue  Ridge 
lived  under  colonial  laws  and  customs,  or  descended  from 
those  pioneers  who  did.  Therefore,  colonial  times  in  North 
Carolina,  especially  in  the  Piedmont  country,  should  be  of 
interest  to  those  who  would  know  how  our  more  remote  ances- 
tors lived  under  English  rule.  This  should  be  especially 
true  of  those  venturesome  spirits  who  first  crossed  the  Blue 
Ridge  and  explored  the  mountain  regions  of  our  State,  what- 
ever may  have  been  the  object  of  their  quest.  For  "when 
the  first  Continental  Congress  began  its  sittings  the  only 
frontiersmen  west  of  the  mountains  and  beyond  the  limits 
of  continuous  settlement  within  the  old  thirteen  colonies  were 
the  two  or  three  hundred  citizens  of  the  Little  Watauga  com- 
monwealth. l  For  they  were  a  commonwealth  in  the  truest 
sense  of  the  word,  being  beyond  the  jurisdiction  of  any  gov- 
ernment except  that  of  their  own  consciences.  In  these 
circumstances  they  voluntarily  formed  the  first  republican 
government  in  America.  "The  building  of  the  Watauga 
commonwealth  by  Robertson  and  Sevier  gave  a  base  of  oper- 
ations and  furnished  a  model  for  similar  commonwealths  to 
follow."2 

For  the  first  written  compact  that,  west  of  the  mountains, 
Was  framed  for  the  guidance  of  liberty's  feet, 

Was  writ  here  by  letterless  men  in  whose  bosoms, 
Undaunted,  the  heart  of  a  paladin  beat. 

Earl  of  Granville.  There  were  eight  Lords  Proprietors 
to  whom  Carolina  was  originally  granted  in  1663.  Among 
them  was  Sir  George  Carteret,  afterwards  Earl  of  Granville. 3 
On  the  3d  of  May,  1728,  the  king  of  England  bought  North 
Carolina  and  thus  ended  the  government  of  the  Lords  Pro- 
prietors. But  he  did  not  buy  the  interest  of  the  Earl  of  Gran- 
ville, who  refused  to  sell;  though  he  had  to  give  up  his  share 

(CO) 


COLONIAL  DAYS  61 


in  the  government  of  the  colony.  Hence,  grants  from  Earl 
of  Granville  are  as  valid  as  those  from  the  crown;  for  in  1743 
his  share  was  given  him  in  land.  It  included  about  one-half 
of  the  State,  and  he  collected  rents  from  it  till  1776,  his  dis- 
honest agents  giving  the  settlers  on  it  great  trouble. 

Moravians.  The  Moravians  were  a  band  of  religious 
brethren  who  came  to  America  to  do  mission  work  among 
the  Indians  and  to  gain  a  full  measure  of  religious  freedom. 
Their  plan  was  to  build  a  central  town  on  a  large  estate  and 
to  sell  the  land  around  to  the  members  of  the  brotherhood. 
The  town  was  to  contain  shops,  mills,  stores,  factories,  churches 
and  schools.  After  selecting  several  pieces  of  lowlands, 
Bishop  Spangenberg  bought  from  the  Earl  of  Granville  a 
large  tract  in  the  bounds  of  the  present  county  of  Forsyth, 
and  called  the  tract  Wachovia,  meaning  "meadow  stream."4 
On  November  17,  1753,  a  company  of  twelve  men  arrived  at 
Wachovia,  and  started  what  is  now  Salem.  This  Bishop 
Spangenberg  is  spoken  of  in  Hill's  "Young  People's  History 
of  North  Carolina"  as  Bishop  Augustus  G.  Spangenberg; 
while  the  Spangenberg  whose  diary  is  quoted  from  exten- 
sively in  the  next  few  pages  signs  himself  I.  Spangenberg. 
He  will  be  called  the  Bishop,  nevertheless,  because  he  "spake 
as  one  having  authority. "  5 

First  to  Cross  the  Blue  Ridge.  Vol.  V,  Colonial  Rec- 
ords (pp.  1  to  14),  contains  the  diary  of  I.  Spangenberg,  of  the 
Moravian  church.  He  is  the  first  white  man  who  crossed 
the  Blue  Ridge  in  North  Carolina,  so  far  as  the  records  show, 
except  those  who  had  prolonged  the  Virginia  State  line  in 
1749.  He,  with  his  co-religionist,  Brother  I.  H.  Antes,  left 
Edenton  September  13,  1752,  for  the  purpose  of  inspecting 
and  selecting  land  for  settling  Moravian  immigrants.  The 
land  was  to  have  been  granted  by  Earl  Granville,  and  the 
surveyor,  Mr.  Churton,  who  accompanied  the  expedition,  had 
instructions  from  that  proprietor  to  survey  the  lands,  and  as 
he  was  to  be  paid  three  pounds  sterling  for  each  5,000-acre 
tract,  he  was  averse  to  surveying  tracts  of  smaller  acreage. 
His  instructions  limited  him  also  to  north  and  south  and  east 
and  west  lines,  which  frequently  compelled  the  good  Bishop 
to  include  mountains  in  his  boundaries  that  he  did  not  par- 
ticularly desire.  Having  run  three  lines  this  surveyor  declined 
to  run  the  fourth,  and  the  Bishop  notes  that  fact  in  order 


62         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

to  save  his  brethern  the  trouble  of  searching  for  lines  that 
were  never  run  or  marked.  The  surveyor,  however,  did  sur- 
vey for  the  Bishop  smaller  tracts  than  those  containing  5,000 
acres,  though  reluctantly. 

Quaker  Meadows.  In  Judge  Avery's  "Historic  Homes" 
(N.  C.  Booklet,  Vol.  IV,  No.  3)  he  refers  to  the  fact  that  these 
meadows  were  so  called  from  the  fact  that  a  Quaker  (Mora- 
vian) once  camped  there  and  traded  for  furs.  This  Quaker 
was  Bishop  Spangenberg.  He  reached  on  November  12, 
1752,  the  "neighborhood  of  what  may  be  called  Indian  Pass. 
The  next  settlement  from  here  is  that  of  Jonathan  Weiss, 
more  familiarly  known  as  Jonathan  Perrot.  This  man  is  a 
hunter  and  lives  20  miles  from  here.  There  are  many  hunters 
about  here,  who  live  like  Indians:  they  kill  many  deer,  sell- 
ing their  hides,  and  thus  live  without  much  work."  On  the 
19th  of  November  he  reached  Quaker  Meadows,  "fifty  miles 
from  all  settlements  and  found  all  we  thought  was  required 
for  a  settlement,  very  rich  and  fertile  bottoms.  .  .  .  Our 
survey  begins  seven  or  eight  miles  from  the  mouth  of  the  3d 
river  where  it  flows  into  the  Catawba.  What  lies  further 
down  the  river  has  already  been  taken  up.  The  other  [west- 
ern] line  of  the  survey  runs  close  to  the  Blue  Ridge.  .  .  .  This 
piece  consists  of  6,000  acres.  We  can  have  at  least  eight  set- 
tlements in  this  tract,  and  each  will  have  water,  range,  etc. 
...  I  calculate  to  every  settlement  eight  couples  of  brethren 
and  sisters." 

Buffalo  Trails.  There  were  no  roads  save  those  made 
by  buffaloes.  The  surveyor  was  stopped  by  six  Cherokees  on 
a  hunt,  but  they  soon  became  friendly.  November  24th  they 
were  five  miles  from  Table  Rock,  which  with  the  Hawk's  Bill 
is  so  conspicuous  from  Morganton,  where  they  surveyed  the 
fifth  tract  of  land,  of  700  or  800  acres. 

Musical  Wolves.  "The  wolves,  which  are  not  like  those 
in  Germany,  Poland  and  Lapland  (because  they  fear  men 
and  do  not  easily  come  near)  give  us  such  music  of  six  differ- 
ent cornets,  the  like  of  which  I  have  never  heard  in  my  life. 
Several  brethren,  skilled  in  hunting,  will  be  required  to  exter- 
minate panthers,  wolves,  etc." 

Old  Indian  Fields.  6  On  November  28th  they  were 
camped  in  an  old  Indian  field  on  the  northeast  branch  of 
Middle  Little  river  of  the  Catawba,  where  they  arrived  on 


COLONIAL  DAYS  63 


the  25th,  and  resolved  to  take  up  2,000  acres  of  land  lying 
on  two  streams,  both  well  adapted  to  mill  purposes.  That 
the  Indians  once  lived  there  was  very  evident— possibly  be- 
fore the  war  which  they  waged  with  North  Carolina — "from 
the  remains  of  an  Indian  fort:  as  also  the  tame  grass  which 
was  still  growing  about  the  old  residences,  and  from  the  trees. " 
On  December  3d  they  camped  on  a  river  in  another  old  Indian 
field  at  the  head  of  a  branch  of  New  river,  "after  passing 
over  frightful  mountains  and  dangerous  cliffs." 

Where  Men  Had  Seldom  Trod.  On  the  29th  they  were 
in  camp  on  the  second  or  middle  fork  of  Little  river,  not  far 
from  Quaker  Meadows  "in  a  locality  that  has  probably  been 
but  seldom  trodden  by  the  foot  of  man  since  the  creation  of 
the  world.  For  70  or  80  miles  we  have  been  traveling  over 
terrible  mountains  and  along  very  dangerous  places  where 
there  was  no  way  at  all."  One  might  call  the  place  in  which 
they  were  camped  a  basin  or  kettle,  it  being  a  cove  in  the 
mountains,  rich  of  soil,  and  where  their  horses  found  abun- 
dant pasture  among  the  buffalo  haunts  and  tame  grass  among 
the  springs.  The  wild  pea- vines  which  formerly  covered  these 
mountains,  growing  even  under  the  forest  trees  most  luxuri- 
antly for  years  after  the  whites  came  in,  afforded  fine  pas- 
turage for  their  stock.  It  also  formed  a  tangled  mat  on  the 
surface  of  the  earth  through  which  it  was  almost  impossible 
for  men  to  pass.  Hence,  the  pioneers  were  confined  gener- 
ally to  the  Indian  and  buffalo  trails  already  existing.  These 
pea-vines  return  even  now  whenever  a  piece  of  forest  land  is 
fenced  off  a  year  or  two. 

On  the  Grandfather?  It  would  seem  that  they  had  been 
misled  by  a  hunter  whom  they  had  taken  along  to  show  them 
the  way  to  the  Yadkin;  but  had  missed  the  way  and  on  De- 
cember 3d  came  "into  a  region  from  which  there  was  no  out- 
let except  by  climbing  up  an  indescribably  steep  mountain. 
Part  of  the  way  we  had  to  crawl  on  our  hands  and  feet,  and 
sometimes  we  had  to  take  the  baggage  and  saddles  from  the 
horses,  and  drag  them  up,  while  they  trembled  and  quivered 
like  leaves.  The  next  day  we  journeyed  on:  got  into  laurel 
bushes  and  beaver  dams  and  had  to  cut  our  way  through  the 
bushes.  Arrived  at  the  top  at  last,  we  saw  hundreds  of 
mountain  peaks  all  around  us,  presenting  a  spectacle  like 
ocean  waves  in  a  storm."     The  descent  on  the  western  side 


64         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

was  "neither  so  steep,  nor  as  deep  as  before,  and  then  we 
came  to  a  stream  of  water,  but  no  pasture.  .  .  .  The  next 
day  we  got  into  laurel  bushes  and  beaver  dams  and  had  to 
cut  our  way  through  the  bushes.  .    .    .  " 

Wandering  Bewildered  in  Unknown  Ways.  "Then  we 
changed  our  course — left  the  river  and  went  up  the  mountain, 
where  the  Lord  brought  us  to  a  delicious  spring,  and  good 
pasturage  on  a  chestnut  ridge.  .  .  .  The  next  day  we  came 
to  a  creek  so  full  of  rocks  that  we  could  not  possible  cross  it; 
and  on  both  sides  were  such  precipitous  banks  that  scarcely 
a  man,  certainly  no  horse  could  climb  them  .  .  .  but  our 
horses  had  nothing — absolutely  nothing.  .  .  .  Directly  came 
a  hunter  who  had  climbed  a  mountain  and  had  seen  a  large 
meadow.  Thereupon,  we  scrambled  down  .  .  .  and  came 
before  night  into  a  large  plain.  .    .    . 

Caught  in  a  Mountain  Snowstorm.  "We  pitched  our 
tent,  but  scarcely  had  we  finished  when  such  a  fierce  wind- 
storm burst  upon  us  that  we  could  scarcely  protect  ourselves 
against  it.  I  camiot  remember  that  I  have  ever  in  winter 
anywhere  encountered  so  hard  or  so  cold  a  wind.  The  ground 
was  soon  covered  with  snow  ankle  deep,  and  the  water  froze 
for  us  aside  the  fire.  Our  people  became  thoroughly  dis- 
heartened. Our  horses  would  certainly  perish  and  we  with 
them." 

In  Goshen's  Land.  "The  next  day  we  had  fine  sunshine, 
and  then  warmer  days,  though  the  nights  were  'horribly'  cold. 
Then  we  went  to  examine  the  land.  A  large  part  of  it  is  al- 
ready cleared,  and  there  long  grass  abounds,  and  this  is  all 
bottom.  Three  creeks  flow  together  here  and  make  a  con- 
siderable river,  which  flows  into  the  Mississippi  according  to 
the  best  knowledge  of  our  hunters."  There  were  countless 
springs  but  no  reeds,  but  "so  much  grass  land  that  Brother 
Antes  thinks  a  man  could  make  several  hundred  loads  of  hay 
of  the  wild  grass.  .  .  .  There  is  land  here  suitable  for  wheat, 
corn,  oats,  barley,  hemp,  etc.  Some  of  the  land  will  prob- 
ably be  flooded  when  there  is  high  water.  There  is  a  mag- 
nificent chestnut  and  pine  forest  near  here.  Whetstones  and 
millstones  which  Brother  Antes  regards  the  best  he  has  seen 
in  North  Carolina  are  plenty.  The  soil  is  here  mostly  lime- 
stone and  of  a  cold  nature.  .  .  .  We  surveyed  this  land  and 
took  up  5,400  acres.  .    .   .     We  have  a  good  many  mountains, 


COLONIAL  DAYS  65 


but  they  are  very  fertile  and  admit  of  cultivation.  Some  of 
them  are  already  covered  with  wood,  and  are  easily  acces- 
sible. Many  hundred — yes,  thousand  crab-apple  trees  grow 
here,  which  may  be  useful  for  vinegar.  One  of  the  creeks 
presents  a  number  of  admirable  seats  for  milling  purposes. 
This  survey  is  about  15  miles  from  the  Virginia  line,  as  we 
saw  the  Meadow  mountain,  and  I  judged  it  to  be  about  20 
miles  distant.  This  mountain  lies  five  miles  from  the  line 
between  Virginia  and  North  Carolina.  In  all  probability  this 
tract  would  make  an  admirable  settlement  for  Christian  In- 
dians, like  Grandenhutten  in  Pennsylvania.  There  is  wood, 
mast,  wild  game,  fish  and  a  free  range  for  hunting,  and  admir- 
able land  for  corn,  potatoes,  etc.  For  stock  raising  it  is  also 
incomparable.  Meadow  land  and  pasture  in  abundance." 
After  "a  bitter  journey  among  the  mountains  where  we  were 
virtually  lost  and  whichever  way  we  turned  we  were  literally 
walled  in  on  all  sides,"  they  came  on  December  14,  1752, 
to  the  head  of  Yadkin  river,  after  having  abandoned  all 
streams  and  paths,  and  followed  a  course  east  and  south,  and 
"scrambling  across  the  mountains  as  well  as  we  could." 
Here  a  hunter  named  Owen,  "of  Welch  stock,  invited  us 
into  his  house  and  treated  us  very  kindly."  He  lived  near 
the  Mulberry  Fields  which  had  been  taken  up  by  Morgan 
Bryant,  but  were  uninhabited.  The  nearest  house  was  60 
miles  distant. 

The  First  Hunters.  The  hunters  who  assisted  the  Bishop 
in  finding  the  different  bodies  of  suitable  land  were  Henry 
Day,  who  lived  in  Granville,  John  Perkins,  who  lived  on  the 
Catawba,  "and  is  known  as  Andrew  Lambert,  a  well-known 
Scotchman,"  and  Jno.  Rhode,  who  "lives  about  20  miles 
from  Capt.  Sennit  on  the  Yadkin  road."  John  Perkins  was 
especially  commended  to  the  Brethren  as  "a  diligent  and  true 
worthy  man,  and  a  friend  to  the  Brethren."  The  late  Judge 
A.  C.  Avery  said  he  was  called  "Gentleman  John,"  and  that 
Johns  river  in  Burke  was  named  for  him. 7 

Settlers  from  Pennsylvania.  "Many  of  the  immi- 
grants were  sent  to  Pennsylvania,  and  they  had  traveled  as 
far  west  as  Pittsburg  early  in  the  18th  century.  The  Indians 
west  of  the  Alleghanies  were,  however,  fiercer  than  any  the 
Quakers  had  met;  but  to  the  southwest  for  several  hundred 
miles  the  Appalachians  "run  in  parallel  ranges  .  .  .  through 
w.  n.  c. — 5 


66         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Virginia,  West  Virginia,  the  Carolinas  and  East  Tennessee 
..."  and  through  these  "long,  deep  troughs  between  these 
ranges  .  .  .  Pennsylvanians  freely  wandered  into  the  South 
and  Southwest  .  .  .  "and  "between  the  years  1732  and  1750, 
numerous  groups  of  Pennsylvanians — Germans  and  Irish  large- 
ly, with  many  Quakers  among  them — had  been  .  .  .  grad- 
ually pushing  forward  the  line  of  settlement,  until  now  it  had 
reached  the  upper  waters  of  the  Yadkin  river,  in  the  north- 
west corner  of  North  Carolina."8  "Thus  was  the  wilder- 
ness tamed  by  a  steady  stream  of  immigration  from  the  older 
lands  of  the  northern  colonies,  while  not  a  few  penetrated 
to  this  Arcadia  through  the  passes  of  the  Blue  Ridge,  from 
eastern  Virginia  and  the  Carolinas."9 

Nick-a-Jack's  Cave.  Almost  the  first  difficulties  those 
who  first  crossed  the  mountains  encountered  was  from  the 
depredations  of  renegade  Indians  and  desperate  white  men 
defiant  of  law  and  order.  There  was  at  this  time  (1777-78) 
a  body  of  free-booters,  composed  of  "adventurous  and  unruly 
members  from  almost  all  the  western  tribes — Cherokees, 
Creeks,  Chickasaws,  Choctaws,  and  Indians  from  the  Ohio, 
generally  known  as  Chickamaugas.  Many  Tories  and  white 
refugees  from  border  justice  joined  them  and  shared  in  their 
misdeeds.  Their  shifting  villages  stretched  from  Chicka- 
mauga  creek  to  Running  Water.  Between  these  places  the 
Tennessee  twists  down  through  the  somber  gorges  by  which 
the  chains  of  the  Cumberland  range  are  riven  in  sunder. 
Some  miles  below  Chickamauga  creek,  near  Chattanooga, 
Lookout  mountain  towers  aloft  into  the  clouds;  at  its  base 
the  river  bends  round  Moccasin  Point,  and  then  rushes  through 
a  gap  between  Walden's  Ridge  and  the  Raccoon  Hills.  Then, 
for  several  miles,  it  foams  through  the  winding  Narrows 
between  jutting  cliffs  and  sheer  rock  walls,  while  in  its  boulder- 
strewn  bed  the  swift  torrent  is  churned  into  whirlpools,  cata- 
racts, and  rapids.  Near  the  Great  Crossing,  where  the  war 
parties  and  hunting  parties  were  ferried  over  the  river,  lies 
Nick-a-jack's  cave,  a  vast  cavern  in  the  mountain-side.  Out 
of  it  flows  a  stream  up  which  a  canoe  can  paddle  two  or  three 
miles  into  the  heart  of  the  mountain.  In  these  high  fastnesses, 
inaccessible  ravines,  and  gloomy  caverns  the  Chickamaugas 
built  their  towns,  and  to  them  they  retired  with  their  prisoners 
and  booty  after  every  raid  on  the  settlements." 


COLONIAL  DAYS  67 


French  and  Indian  War  Land  Warrants.  l  °  The  Chick- 
amaugas  lived  on  Chickamauga  creek  and  in  the  moun- 
tains about  where  Chattanooga  now  stands;  they  were  kins- 
men of  the  Cherokees.  In  1748  Dr.  Thomas  Walker  and  a 
party  of  hunters ,  came  from  Virginia  into  Powell's  Valley, 
crossing  the  mountains  at  Cumberland  gap,  and  named  it 
and  the  river  in  honor  of  the  Duke  of  Cumberland,  Prime 
Minister  of  England.  In  1756-7  the  English  built  Fort  Lou- 
don, 30  miles  from  Knoxville,  as  the  French  were  trying  to 
get  the  Cherokees  to  make  war  on  the  North  Carolina  set- 
tlers. After  the  treaty  of  peace  between  France  and  England 
in  1763  many  hunters  poured  over  the  mountains  into  Ten- 
nessee; though  George  III  had  ordered  his  governors  not  to 
allow  whites  to  trespass  on  Indian  lands  west  of  the  moun- 
tains, and  if  any  white  man  did  buy  Indian  lands  and  and  the 
Indians  moved  away  the  land  should  belong  to  the  king. 
He  appointed  Indian  commissioners;  but  the  whites  persisted, 
some  remaining  a  year  or  more  to  hunt  and  were  called  Long 
Hunters.  Land  warrants  had  been  issued  to  officers  and 
soldiers  who  had  fought  in  the  French  and  Indian  wars  and 
those  issued  by  North  Carolina  wanted  to  settle  in  what  is 
now  Tennessee.  The  Iroquois  complained  that  whites  were 
killing  their  stock  and  taking  their  lands,  and  at  a  great  Indian 
council  at  Fort  Stanwix,  at  Rome,  N.  Y.,  the  northern  tribes 
gave  England  title  to  all  their  lands  between  the  Ohio  and 
Tennessee  rivers  in  1767.  But  the  Indian  commissioners  for 
the  southern  tribes  called  a  council  at  Hard  Labor,  S.  C,  and 
bought  title  to  the  same  land  from  the  Cherokees.  These 
treaties  were  finished  in  1768.  William  Bean  in  1769  was 
living  in  a  log  cabin  where  Boone's  creek  joins  the  Watauga. 
In  1771  Parker  and  Carter  set  up  a  store  at  Rogersville,  and 
people  from  Abingdon  (called  Wolf's  Hill)  followed,  and 
the  settlement  was  called  the  Carter's  Valley  settlement. 
In  1772  Jacob  Brown  opened  a  store  on  the  Nollechucky  river, 
and  pioneers  settling  around,  it  was  called  Nollechucky  set- 
tlement. Shortly  before  Bean  had  settled  the  Cherokees  had 
attacked  the  Chickasaws  and  been  defeated,  and  the  settlers 
got  a  ten  years'  lease  from  Indians  for  lands  they  claimed. 
In  May  1771,  at  Alamance,  Tryon  had  defeated  the  Regula- 
tors and  many  of  them  had  moved  to  Tennessee.  Most 
settlers  in  Tennessee  thought  they  were  in  Virginia,  but  either 


68         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Richmond  or  Raleigh  was  too  far  off,  so  they  formed  the 
Watauga  Association  in  1772  and  a  committee  of  13  elected 
five  commissioners  to  settle  disputes,  etc.,  with  judicial  powers 
and  some  executive  duties  also.  It  was  a  free  government 
by  the  consent  of  every  individual.  When  the  Revolution- 
ary War  began  Watauga  Association  named  their  country 
Washington  District  and  voted  themselves  indebted  to  the 
United  Colonies  for  their  share  of  the  expenses  of  the  war. 

The  Watauga  Settlement  and  Indian  Wars.  This 
caused  the  British  government  to  attempt  the  destruction 
of  these  settlements  by  inciting  the  Cherokees  to  make  war 
upon  them.  Alexander  Cameron  was  the  Indian  commis- 
sioner for  the  British  and  he  furnished  the  Indians  with  guns 
and  ammunition  for  that  purpose;  but  in  the  spring  of  1776, 
Nancy  Ward,  a  friendly  Indian  woman,  told  the  white  settlers 
that  700  Cherokee  warriors  intended  to  attack  the  settlers. 
They  did  so,  but  were  defeated  at  Heaton's  Station  and  at 
Watauga  Fort.  In  these  battles  the  settlers  were  aided  by 
Virginia.  James  Robertson  and  John  Sevier  were  leaders 
in  these  times.  It  was  after  this  that  Virginia  and  North 
Carolina  and  South  Carolina  sent  soldiers  into  the  Cherokee 
country  of  North  Carolina  for  the  extermination  of  the  sav- 
age Cherokees. 1 *  In  August  1776  the  Watauga  Settlement 
asked  to,  be  annexed  by  North  Carolina,  113  men  signing 
the  petition,  all  of  whom  signed  their  names  except  two,  who 
made  their  marks.  There  seems  to  be  no  record  of  any  formal 
annexation;  but  in  November,  1776,  the  Provisional  Congress 
of  North  Carolina  met  at  Halifax  and  among  the  delegates 
present  were  John  Carter,  John  Sevier,  Charles  Robertson 
and  John  Haile  from  the  Washington  District.  It  is,  there- 
fore, safe  to  conclude  that  Watauga  had  been  annexed,  for 
these  men  helped  to  frame  the  first  free  constitution  of  the 
State  of  North  Carolina.  But  this  Watauga  Association 
seems  to  have  continued  its  independent  government  until 
February,  1778;  for  in  1777  (November)  Washington  Dis- 
trict became  Washington  county  with  boundaries  cotermi- 
nous with  those  of  the  present  State  of  Tennessee.  Magis- 
trates or  justices  of  the  peace  took  the  oath  of  office  in  Feb- 
ruary, 1778,  when  the  entire  county  began  to  be  governed 
under  the  laws  of  North  Carolina.  Thus,  the  Watauga  Asso- 
ciation was  the  germ  of  the  State  of  Tennessee,  and  although 


COLONIAL  DAYS  69 


there  is  on  a  tree  near  Boone's  creek  an  inscription  indicating 
that  Daniel  Boone  killed  a  bear  there  in  1760,  William  Bean 
appears  to  have  been  the  first  permanent  settler  of  that  sec- 
tion. Indeed,  this  author  states  that  Col.  Richard  Hender- 
son, of  North  Carolina,  induced  Boone  to  make  his  first  visit 
to  Kentucky  in  the  spring  of  1769,  and  that  James  Robertson, 
afterwards  "The  Father  of  Middle  Tennessee, "  accompanied 
him;  but  stopped  on  the  Wautaga  with  William  Bean  and 
raised  a  crop,  removing  his  family  from  Wake  county  in  1770 
or  1771. 

Forts  Loudon  and  Dobbs.  Fort  Loudon  was  on  the  Little 
Tennessee.  It  was  attacked  and  besieged  by  the  Indians, 
and  surrendered  August  9,  1760,  after  Indian  women  had 
kept  the  garrison  in  food  a  long  time  in  defiance  of  their  own 
tribesmen. l 2  In  1756  Fort  Dobbs  was  constructed  a  short 
distance  south  of  the  South  Fork  of  the  Yadkin. 1 3  For 
the  first  few  years  Fort  Dobbs  was  not  much  used, x  4  the 
Catawbas  being  friendly;  but  in  1759  the  Yadkin  and  Ca- 
tawba valleys  were  raided  by  the  Cherokees,  with  the  usual 
results  of  ruined  crops,  burned  farm  buildings,  and  murdered 
households.  The  Catawbas,  meanwhile,  remained  faithful 
to  their  white  friends.  Until  this  outbreak  the  Carolinas  had 
greatly  prospered;  but  after  it  most  of  the  Yadkin  families, 
with  the  English  fur-traders,  huddled  within  the  walls  of 
Fort  Dobbs,  but  many  others  fled  to  settlements  nearer  the 
Atlantic. x  5  In  the  early  winter  of  1760  the  governors  of 
Virginia  and  North  and  South  Carolina  agreed  upon  a  joint 
campaign  against  the  hostiles,  and  attacked  the  Cherokee 
towns  on  the  Little  Tennessee  in  the  summer  of  1760,  com- 
pletely crushing  the  Indians  and  sent  5,000  men,  women  and 
children  into  the  hills  to  starve. 1 6  With  the  opening  of  1762 
the  southwest  border  began  to  be  reoccupied,  and  the  aban- 
doned log  cabins  again  had  fires  lighted  upon  their  hearths, 
the  deserted  clearings  were  again  cultivated,  and  the  pursuits 
of  peace  renewed. 1 7 

Remains  of  Fort  Loudon.  In  June,  1913,  Col.  J.  Fain 
Anderson,  a  noted  historian  of  Washington  College,  Tenn., 
visited  Fort  Loudon,  and  found  the  outline  of  the  ditches  and 
breastworks  still  visible.  The  old  well  was  walled  up,  but 
the  wall  has  fallen  in.  He  says  there  were  twelve  small  iron 
cannon  in  this  fort  in  1756,  all  of  which  had  been  "packed 


70         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

over  the  mountains  on  horses,"  and  that  a  Mr.  Steele  who 
lives  at  McGee's  Station — the  nearest  railroad  station  to 
the  old  fort— has  a  piece  of  one  of  them  which  his  father 
ploughed  up  over  forty  years  ago.  The  land  on  which  the 
fort  stood  now  belongs  to  James  Anderson,  a  relative  of  J.  F. 
Anderson,  near  the  mouth  of  Tellico  creek.  But  no  tablet 
marks  the  site  of  this  first  outpost  of  our  pioneer  ancestors. 

Westward  the  Course  of  Empire  Takes  Its  Way. 
From  Judge  A.  C.  Avery's  "Historic  Homes  of  North  Caro- 
lina" (N.  C.  Booklet,  Vol.  iv,  No.  3)  we  get  a  glimpse  of  the 
slow  approach  of  the  whites  of  the  Blue  Ridge  :  "According 
to  tradition  the  Quaker  Meadows  farm  near  Morganton  was 
so  called  long  before  the  McDowells  or  any  other  whites 
established  homes  in  Burke  county,  and  derived  its  name 
from  the  fact  that  the  Indians,  after  clearing  parts  of  the 
broad  and  fertile  bottoms,  had  suffered  the  wild  grass  to 
spring  up  and  form  a  large  meadow,  near  which  a  Quaker 
had  camped  before  the  French  and  Indian  War,  and  traded 
for  furs."  This  was  none  other  than  Bishop  I.  Spangenberg, 
the  Moravian,  who,  on  the  19th  of  November,  1752,  (Vol.  v, 
Colonial  Records,  p.  6)  records  in  his  diary  that  he  was  en- 
camped near  Quaker  Meadows  "in  the  forest  50  miles  from 
any  settlement." 

The  McDowell  Family.  Judge  Avery  goes  on  to  give 
some  account  of  the  McDowells  :  Ephraim  McDowell,  the 
first  of  the  name  in  this  country,  having  emigrated  from  the 
north  of  Ireland,  when  at  the  age  of  62,  accompanied  by  two 
sons,  settled  at  the  old  McDowell  home  in  Rockbridge  coun- 
ty, Virginia.  His  grandson  Joseph  and  his  grandnephew 
"Hunting  John"  moved  South  about  1760,  but  owing  to  the 
French  and  Indian  War  went  to  the  northern  border  of  South 
Carolina,  where  their  sturdy  Scotch-Irish  friends  had  already 
named  three  counties  of  the  State,  York,  Chester  and  Lancas- 
ter. One  reason  for  the  late  settlement  of  these  Piedmont 
regions  was  because  the  English  land  agents  dumped  the 
Scotch-Irish  and  German  immigrants  in  Pennsylvania,  from 
which  State  some  moved  as  soon  as  possible  to  the  unclaimed 
lands  of  the  South. 

"Hunting  John"  and  His  Sporting  Friends.  "But  as 
soon  as  the  French  and  Indian  war  permitted  the  McDow- 
ells removed  to    Burke.      'Hunting  John'  was  so  called  be- 


COLONIAL  DAYS  71 


cause  of  his  venturing  into  the  wilderness  in  pursuit  of 
game,  and  was  probably  the  first  to  live  at  his  beautiful  home, 
Pleasant  Gardens,  in  the  Catawba  Valley,  in  what  is  now 
McDowell  county.  About  this  time  also  his  cousin  Joseph  set- 
tled at  Quaker  Meadows;  though  'Hunting  John'  first  en- 
tered Swan  Ponds,  about  three  miles  above  Quaker  Meadows, 
but  afterwards  sold  it,  without  having  occupied  it,  to  Waight- 
still  Avery.  .  .  .  The  McDowells  and  Carsons  of  that  day 
and  later  reared  thorough-bred  horses,  and  made  race-paths 
in  the  broad  lowlands  of  every  large  farm.  They  were  su- 
perb horsemen,  crack  shots  and  trained  hunters.  John 
McDowell  of  Pleasant  Gardens  was  a  Nimrod  when  he  lived  in 
Virginia,  and  we  learn  from  tradition  that  he  acted  as  guide 
for  his  cousins  over  the  hunting  grounds  when,  at  the  risk  of 
their  lives,  they,  with  their  kinsmen,  James  Greenlee  and 
Captain  Bowman,  [who  fell  at  Ramseur's  Mill  in  the  Revo- 
lutionary War]  traveled  over  and  inspected  the  valley  of  the 
Catawba  from  Morganton  to  Old  Fort,  and  selected  the  large 
domain  allotted  to  each  of  them." 

Log-Cabin  Ladies'  Whims.  "They  built  and  occupied 
strings  of  cabins,  because  the  few  plank  or  boards  used  by 
them  were  sawed  by  hand  and  the  nails  driven  into  them 
were  shaped  in  a  blacksmith's  shop.  I  have  seen  many  old 
buildings,  such  as  the  old  houses  at  Fort  Defiance,  the  Lenoir 
house  and  Swan  Ponds,  where  every  plank  was  fastened  by 
a  wrought  nail  with  a  large  round  head — sometimes  half  an 
inch  in  diameter.  From  these  houses  the  lordly  old  propri- 
etors could  in  half  an  hour  go  to  the  water  or  the  woods  and 
provide  fish,  deer  or  turkeys  to  meet  the  whim  of  the  lady 
of  the  house.  They  combined  the  pleasure  of  sport  with  the 
profit  of  providing  their  tables.  .  .  .  'Hunting  John'  prob- 
ably died  in  1775." 

Living  Without  Law  or  Gospel?  William  Byrd,  the  Vir- 
ginia commissioner  who  helped  to  run  the  boundary  between 
North  Carolina  and  Virginia  in  1728,  wrote  to  Governor  Bar- 
rington,  July  20,  1731,  x  s  that  it  "must  be  owned  that  North 
Carolina  is  a  very  happy  country  where  people  may  live  with 
the  least  labor  that  they  can  in  any  part  of  the  world,"  and 
"are  accustomed  to  live  without  law  or  gospel,  and  will  with 
great  reluctance  submit  to  either."  This  is  still  true  of  North 
Carolina,  except  the  statement — which  was  never  true — that 


72         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

we  were  accustomed  to  live  without  law  or  gospel  in  1731;  for 
when  this  identical  gentleman  was  seeking  to  get  paid  for  his 
services  as  a  commissioner  to  run  the  boundary  line  in  1728, 
he  wrote  the  Board  of  Trade  that  the  Reverend  Peter  Foun- 
tain, the  chaplain  of  that  survey  "christened  over  100  chil- 
dren among  the  settlers  along  the  line  in  North  Carolina." 

A  "Bird"  Who  Spelt  His  Name  Improperly.  In  spite 
of  his  animadversions  upon  the  pioneer  settlers  of  the  eastern 
part  of  our  State,  we  must  always  incline  to  forgive  Col.  Wil- 
liam Byrd  of  Westover  after  reading  his  piquant  and  learned 
disquisitions  upon  many  matters  in  the  "Dividing  Line."  He 
must  truly  have  been  what  we  of  more  modern  times  call  a 
"Bird,"  although  he  spelt  his  name  with  a  y. 

Where  Every  Day  was  Sunday.  1 9  Following  are  Col. 
Byrd's  Pictures  of  Colonial  Days:  "Our  Chaplain,  for  his 
Part,  did  his  Office,  and  rubb'd  us  up  with  a  Seasonable  Ser- 
mon. This  was  quite  a  new  Thing  to  our  Brethren  of  North 
Carolina,  who  live  in  a  climate  where  no  clergyman  can  Breathe 
any  more  than  Spiders  in  Ireland.  For  want  of  men  in  Holy  Or- 
ders, both  the  Members  of  the  Council  and  Justices  of  the  Peace 
are  empowered  by  the  Laws  of  that  Country  to  marry  all 
those  who  will  not  take  One  another's  Word;  but  for  the 
ceremony  of  Christening  their  children,  they  trust  that  to 
chance.  If  a  parson  come  in  their  way,  they  will  crave  a 
Cast  of  his  office,  as  they  call  it,  else  they  are  content  their 
Offspring  should  remain  Arrant  Pagans  as  themselves.  They 
account  it  among  their  greatest  advantages  that  they  are 
not  Priest-ridden,  not  remembering  that  the  Clergy  is  rarely 
guilty  of  Bestriding  such  as  have  the  misfortune  to  be  poor. 
.  .  .  One  thing  may  be  said  for  the  Inhabitants  of  that  Pro- 
vince, that  they  are  not  troubled  with  any  Religious  Fumes, 
and  have  the  least  Superstition  of  any  People  living.  They 
do  not  know  Sunday  from  any  other  day,  any  more  than 
Robinson  Crusoe  did,  which  would  give  them  a  great  Advan- 
tage were  they  given  to  be  industrious.  But  they  keep  so 
many  Sabbaths  every  week,  that  their  disregard  of  the  Seventh 
Day  has  no  manner  of  cruelty  in  it,  either  to  servants  or 
cattle." 

Nymph  Echo  in  the  Dismal  Swamp.'20  Once,  when  sep- 
arated from  their  companions,  Col.  Byrd  "ordered  Guns  to 
be  fired  and  a  drum  to  be  beaten,  but  received  no  Answer, 


COLONIAL  DAYS  73 


unless  it  was  from  that  prating  Nymph  Echo,  who,  like  a 
loquacious  Wife,  will  always  have  the  last  word,  and  Some- 
times return  three  for  one. " 

They  Brought  no  Capons  for  the  Parson.  2 l  Some  of 
the  people  were  apprehensive  that  the  survey  would  throw 
their  homes  into  Virginia.  "In  that  case  they  must  have  sub- 
mitted to  some  Sort  of  Order  and  Government;  whereas,  in 
North  Carolina,  every  One  does  what  seems  best  in  his  own 
Eyes.  There  were  some  good  Women  that  brought  their 
children  to  be  Baptiz'd,  but  brought  no  Capons  along  with 
them  to  make  the  solemnity  cheerful.  In  the  meantime  it 
was  Strange  that  none  came  to  be  marry'd  in  such  a  Multi- 
tude, if  it  had  only  been  for  the  Novelty  of  having  their  Hands 
Joyn'd  by  one  in  Holy  Orders.  Yet  so  it  was,  that  tho'  our 
chaplain  Christen'd  above  an  Hundred,  he  did  not  marry  so 
much  as  one  Couple  during  the  whole  Expedition.  But 
marriage  is  reckon'd  a  Lay  contract,  as  I  said  before,  and  a 
Country  Justice  can  tie  the  fatal  Knot  there,  as  fast  as  an  Arch- 
bishop." 

Gentlemen  Smell  Liquor  Thirty  Miles.22  "We  had 
several  Visitors  from  Edenton  [who]  .  .  .  having  good  Noses, 
had  smelt  out,  at  30  Miles  Distance,  the  Precious  Liquor, 
with  which  the  Liberality  of  our  good  Friend  Mr.  Mead  had 
just  before  supply 'd  us.  That  generous  Person  had  judg'd 
very  right,  that  we  were  now  got  out  of  the  Latitude  of  Drink 
proper  for  men  in  Affliction,  and  therefore  was  so  good  as  to 
send  his  Cart  loaden  with  all  sorts  of  refreshments,  for  which 
the  Commissioners  return'd  Him  their  Thanks,  and  the  Chap- 
lain His  Blessing." 

Getting  up  an  Appetite  for  Dog.23  "The  Surveyors 
and  their  Attendants  began  now  in  good  earnest  to  be  alarm- 
ed with  Apprehensions  of  Famine,  nor  could  they  forbear  look- 
ing with  Some  Sort  of  Appetite  upon  a  dog  that  had  been  the 
faithful  Companion  of  their  Travels." 

Poverty  with  Contentment.  2  4  The  following  is  Col. 
Byrd's  idea  of  some  of  our  people  who  lived  near  Edenton  in 
1728: 

"Surely  there  is  no  place  in  the  world  where  the  Inhabitants  live  with 
less  labor  than  in  North  Carolina?  It  approaches  nearer  to  the  descrip- 
tion of  Lubberland  than  any  other,  by  the  great  felicity  of  the  Climate, 
the  easiness  of  raising  provisions,  and  the  Slothfulness  of  the  People.    .   .   . 


74         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

The  Men,  for  their  Parts,  just  like  the  Indians,  impose  all  the  Work  upon 
the  poor  Women.  They  make  their  Wives  rise  out  of  their  Beds  early 
in  the  morning,  at  the  same  time  that  they  lye  and  Snore,  till  the  sun 
has  run  one  third  his  course,  and  disperst  all  the  unwholesome  damps. 
Then,  after  Stretching  and  Yawning  for  half  an  Hour,  they  light  their 
Pipes,  and,  under  the  Protection  of  a  cloud  of  Smoak,  venture  out  into 
the  open  Air;  tho',  if  it  happens  to  be  never  so  little  cold  they  quickly 
return  Shivering  into  the  Chimney  corner.  When  the  weather  is  mild,  they 
stand  leaning  with  both  their  arms  upon  the  corn-field  fence,  and  gravely 
consider  whether  they  had  best  go  and  take  a  Small  Heat  at  the  Hough; 
but  generally  find  reasons  to  put  it  off  till  another  time.  Thus  they 
loiter  away  their  fives,  like  Solomon's  Sluggard,  with  their  arms  across, 
and  at  the  Winding  up  of  the  Year  Scarcely  have  Bread  to  Eat.  To 
speak  the  truth,  'tis  aversion  to  Labor  that  makes  People  file  off  to  N. 
Carolina,  where  Plenty  and  a  warm  Sun  confirm  them  in  their  disposition 
to  Laziness  for  their  whole  Lives." 

Our  Commissioner  Treats  the  Parson  to  a  Fricassee 
of  Rum.  2  5  The  chaplain  went  once  to  Edenton,  accompanied 
by  Mr.  Little,  one  of  the  North  Carolina  commissioners, 
"who  to  shew  his  regard  for  the  Church,  offer'd  to  treat  Him 
on  the  Road  with  a  fricassee  of  Rum.  They  fry'd  half  a  Doz- 
en Rashers  of  very  fat  Bacon  in  a  Pint  of  Rum,  both  of  which 
being  disht  up  together,  served  the  Company  at  once  for 
meat  and  Drink." 

The  Democracy  of  the  Colonists.26  "They are  rarely 
guilty  of  Flattering  or  making  any  Court  to  their  governors, 
but  treat  them  with  all  the  Excesses  of  Freedom  and  Famil- 
iarity. They  are  of  opinion  their  rulers  wou'd  be  apt  to 
grow  insolent,  if  they  grew  Rich,  and  for  that  reason  take 
care  to  keep  them  poorer,  and  more  dependent,  if  possible 
than  the  Saints  in  New  England  used  to  do  theit  Governors. " 

The  Men  of  Alamance.  Meantime  the  exactions  of 
the  British  tax  collectors  had  brought  .on  the  Regulators 
War,  and  the  battle  of  Alamance  in  May,  1771,  resulted 
in  the  departure  of  a  "company  of  fourteen  families"  from 
"the  present  county  of  Wake  to  make  new  homes  across  the 
mountains. 2  7  The  men  led  the  way  and  often  had  to  clear 
a  road  with  their  axes.  Behind  the  axmen  went  a  mixed 
procession  of  women,  children,  dogs,  cows  and  pack-horses 
loaded  with  kettles  and  beds."  These  settled  in  Tennessee 
on  the  Watauga  river.  James  Robertson,  "a  cool,  brave, 
sweet-natured  man  was  the  leader  of  the  company."  Then 
came  John  Sevier  and  many  others.     In  the  language  of  the 


COLONIAL  DAYS  75 


Hon.  George  Bancroft,  historian  and  at  that  time  minister 
to  England,  "it  is  a  mistake  if  anyone  have  supposed  that 
the  Regulators  were  cowed  down  by  their  defeat  at  Alamance. 
Like  the  mammoth,  they  took  the  bolt  from  their  brow  and 
crossed  the  mountains."  Of  them  and  those  who  followed 
them,  Hon.  John  Allison  in  his  "Dropped  Stitches  of  Ten- 
nessee History"  (p.  37)  says: 

"The  people  who  made  it  possible  for  Tennessee  to  have  a  centennial 
were  a  wonderful  people.  Within  a  period  of  about  fifteen  years  they 
were  engaged  in  three  revolutions;  participated  in  organizing  and  lived 
under  five  different  governments;  established  and  administered  the  first 
free  and  independent  government  in  America,  founded  the  first  church 
and  the  first  college  in  the  Southwest;  put  in  operation  the  second 
newspaper  in  the  'New  World  West  of  the  Alleghanies' ;  met  and 
fought  the  British  in  half  a  dozen  battles,  from  Kings  Mountain  to  the 
gates  of  Charleston,  gaining  a  victory  in  every  battle;  held  in  check, 
beat  back  and  finally  expelled  from  the  country  four  of  the  most  power- 
ful tribes  of  Indian  warriors  in  America;  and  left  Tennesseans  their  fame 
as  a  heritage,  and  a  commonwealth  of  which  it  is  their  privilege  to  be 
proud." 

The  Freest  of  the  Free.  The  historian,  George  Ban- 
croft, exclaims:  "Are  there  any  who  doubt  man's  capacity 
for  self-government?  Let  them  study  the  history  of  North 
Carolina.  Its  inhabitants  were  restless  and  turbulent  in  their 
imperfect  submission  to  a  government  imposed  from  abroad; 
the  administration  of  the  colony  was  firm,  humane  and  tran- 
quil when  they  were  left  to  take  care  of  themselves.  Any 
government  but  one  of  their  own  institution  was  oppres- 
sive.    North  Carolina  was  settled  by  the  freest  of  the  free. "  2  8 

The  First  Public  Declaration  of  Independence.  This 
was  made  at  Halifax,  N.  C,  by  the  Provisional  Congress, 
April  12,  1776,  when  its  delegates  to  the  Continental  Con- 
gress were  authorized  to  concur  with  other  delegates  in 
"declaring  independence  and  forming  foreign  alliances," 
reserving  the  right  of  forming  a  constitution  and  laws  for 
North  Carolina. 

The  Scotch-Irish;  Their  Origin  and  Religion.29  "Men 
will  not  be  fully  able  to  understand  Carolina  till  they  have 
opened  the  treasures  of  history  and  drawn  forth  some  few 
particulars  respecting  the  origin  and  religious  habits  of  the 
Scotch-Irish  and  become  familiar  with  their  doings  previous 
to   the   Revolution — during   that    painful    struggle — and    the 


76  HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

succeeding  years  of  prosperity;  and  Carolina  will  be  respected 
as  she  is  knwon. " 

In  Pioneer  Days.  3  °  The  men  and  boys  wore  moccasins, 
short  pantaloons  and  leather  leggings,  hunting  shirts,  which 
were  usually  of  dressed  deerskin,  cut  like  the  modern  shirt,  open 
the  entire  length  in  front  and  fastened  by  a  belt.  In  this 
belt  were  carried  a  small  hatchet  and  a  long,  sharp  hunting 
knife.  They  wore  caps  of  mink  or  coon  skin,  with  the  tail 
hanging  behind  for  a  tassel.  The  rifles  were  long,  muzzle- 
loading,  flint-locks,  and  in  a  pouch  hung  over  one  shoulder 
were  carried  gun-wipers,  tow,  patching,  bullets,  and  flints, 
while  fastened  to  the  strap  was  a  horn  for  powder.  The 
women  and  girls  wore  sun  bonnets,  as  a  rule,  and  had  little 
time  to  spend  on  tucks  and  ruffles.  There  was  no  place  at 
which  to  buy  things  except  the  stores  of  Indian  traders,  and 
they  had  very  few  things  white  people  wanted.  .  .  .  The 
pioneer  moved  into  a  new  country  on  foot  or  on  horse  back 
and  brought  his  household  goods  on  pack  horses.  They  were 
about  as  follows  :  The  family  clothing,  some  blankets  and  a 
few  other  bed  clothes,  with  bed  ticks  to  be  filled  with  grass 
or  hair,  a  large  pot,  a  pair  of  pothooks,  an  oven  with  lid,  a 
skillet,  and  a  frying  pan,  a  hand  mill  to  grind  grain,  a  wooden 
trencher  in  which  to  make  bread,  a  few  pewter  plates,  spoons, 
and  other  dishes,  some  axes  and  hoes,  the  iron  parts  of  plows, 
a  broadax,  a  froe,  a  saw  and  an  auger.  Added  to  these  were 
supplies  of  seed  for  field  and  vegetable  crops,  and  a  few  fruit 
trees.  When  their  destination  was  reached  the  men  and  boys 
cut  trees  and  built  a  log  house,  split  boards  with  the  froe  and 
made  a  roof  which  was  held  on  by  weight  poles,  no  nails  be- 
ing available.  Puncheons  were  made  by  splitting  logs  and 
hewing  the  flat  sides  smooth  for  floors  and  door  shutters. 
Some  chimneys  were  made  of  split  sticks  covered  on  the  in- 
side with  a  heavy  coating  of  clay;  but  usually  stones  were 
used  for  this  purpose,  as  they  were  plentiful.  The  spaces 
between  the  log  walls  were  filled  in  by  mortar,  called  chinks 
and  dobbin.  Rough  bedsteads  were  fixed  in  the  corners  of 
the  rooms  farthest  from  the  fire  place,  and  rude  tables  and 
benches  were  constructed,  with  three-legged  stools  as  seats. 
Pegs  were  driven  into  the  walls,  and  on  the  horns  of  bucks 
the  rifle  was  usually  suspended  above  the  door.  Windows 
were  few  and  unglazed.     Then  followed  the  spinning  wheel, 


COLONIAL  DAYS  77 


the  reel,   and  the  hand   loom.     Cards   for  wool   had  to   be 
bought.     The  horses  and  cattle  were  turned  into  the  woods 
to  eat  grass  in  summer  and  cane  in  winter,  being  enticed 
home  at  night  by  a  small  bait  of  salt  or  grain.     The  small 
trees  and  bushes  were  cut  and  their  roots  grubbed  up,  while 
the  larger  trees  were  girdled  and  left  to  die  and  become  leaf- 
less.    Rails  were  made  and  the  clearing  fenced  in,  the  brush 
was  piled  and  burnt,  and  the  land  was  plowed  and  planted. 
After  the  first  crop  the  settler  usually  had  plenty,  for  his  land 
was  new  and  rich.     Indeed,  the  older  farmers  of  this  region 
were  so  accustomed  to  clearing  a  "new  patch"  when  the  first 
was  worn  out,  instead  of  restoring  the  old  land  by  modern 
methods,  that  even  at  this  time  they  know  little  or  nothing 
of  reclaiming  exhausted  land.   Cooking  was  done  on  the  open 
hearths  by  the  women  who  dressed  the  skins  of  wild  animals 
and  brought  water  from  the  spring  in  rude  pails,  milked  the 
cows,  cut  firewood,  spun,  wove,  knit,  washed  the  clothing, 
and  tended  the  bees,  chickens  and  gardens.     When  the  men 
and  boys  were  not  at  work  in  the  fields  they  were  hunting 
for  game.     After  the  first  settlement  time  was  found  for  cut- 
ting down  the  larger  trees  for  fields,  and  the  logs  were  rolled 
together  by  the  help  of  neighbors  and  burned.     The  first  rude 
cabin  home  was  turned  into  a  stable  or  barn  and  a  larger  and 
better  log  house  constructed.     When  the  logs  had  been  hewed 
and  notched  neighbors  were  invited  to  help  in  raising  the 
walls.     The  log-rollings  and  house-raisings  were  occasions  for 
large  dinners,  some  drinking  of  brandy  and  whiskey,  games 
and  sports  of  various  kinds.     There  were  no  schools  and  no 
churches  at  first,  and  no  wagon  roads;  but  all  these  things 
followed  slowly. 

Other  Early  Explorers.  In  the  case  of  Avery  v.  Walker, 
(8  N.  C,  p.  117)  it  appears  that  Col.  James  Hubbard  and 
Captain  John  Hill  had  "been  members  of  Col.  George  Do- 
horty's  party"  and  explored  "the  section  of  country  around 
Bryson  City,  Swain  county,  shortly  before  April  22,  1795"; 
that  Col.  John  Patton,  the  father  of  Lorenzo  and  Montreville 
Patton  of  Buncombe,  and  who  owned  the  meadow  land  on 
the  Swannanoa  river  which  was  sold  to  George  W.  Vander- 
bilt  by  Preston  Patton,  and  the  "haunted  house"  at  the  ford 
of  that  river,  when  the  stage  road  left  South  Main  street  at 
what  is  now  Victoria  Road  and  crossed  the  Swannanoa,  there, 


78         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

instead  of  at  Biltmore,  was  then  county  surveyor  of  Bun- 
combe, and  refused  to  survey  land  on  Ocona  Lufty  for  Waight- 
still  Avery  because  it  was  "on  the  frontier  and  the  Indian 
boundary  had  not  then  actually  been  run  out,  and  it  might 
be  dangerous  to  survey  near  the  line."  Also  that  Dohorty's 
party  had  a  battle  with  the  Indians  at  the  mouth  of  Soco 
creek,  and  that  what  is  now  Bryson  city  was  then  called  Big 
Bear's  village.  In  Eu-Che-Lah  v.  Welch  (10  N.  C,  p.  158) 
will  be  found  an  exhaustive  study  of  the  laws  of  Great  Britain 
in  colonial  days  regarding  the  granting  of  Indian  lands  and  of 
the  various  treaties  made  by  the  State  with  the  Cherokee  In- 
dians since  July  4,  1776. 

NOTES. 

'Roosevelt,  Vol.  Ill,  276  to  280. 

=Ibid. 

'Hill,  pp.  32,  116. 

«lbid.,  p.  121 

'Ibid.,  pp.  89,  90,  116. 

6There  were  other  Old  Fields,  doubtless  made  by  Indians  years  before  America  was 
discovered,  at  the  mouth  of  Gap  creek  in  Ashe;  at  Valle  Crucis  in  Watauga,  at  Old  Fields 
of  Toe  in  Avery,  at  "The  Meadows"  in  Graham,  and  at  numerous  other  level  places. 

'There  is  a  family  of  Perkinses  living  at  Old  Field  now,  1912,  the  descendants  of  Luther 
Perkins. 

8Thwaites,  p.  14. 

•Ibid.,  p.  15,  and  Col.  Rec:,  Vol.  IV,  p.  1073. 

10From  R.  G.  McGee's  "A  History  of  Tennessee." 

"Ibid. 

"Thwaites,  pp.  46-17. 

"Ibid.,  p.  37. 

"Ibid.,  p.  41. 

15Ibid.,  p.  42. 

"Ibid.,  p.  48. 

"Ibid.,  p.  59. 

18Col.  Rec,  Vol.  Ill,  pp.  xii  and  194.  Thwaite  also  says:  "There  was  for  a  long  time 
neither  law  nor  gospel,  upon  this  far-away  frontier.  Justices  of  the  Peace  had  small 
authority.      Preachers  were  at  first  unknown."     "Daniel  Boone,"  p.  33. 

"Byrd,  60-61. 

"Ibid.,  62. 

"Ibid,  63. 

"Ibid. 

"Ibid.,  66-67. 

"Ibid.,  75-76. 

"Ibid.,  76. 

"Ibid.,  80-81. 

"McGee,  p.  214. 

"Asheville's  Centenary. 

"Foote's  Sketches,  p.  83. 

30Condensed  from  G.  R.  McGee's  "A  History  of  Tennessee." 


CHAPTER  IV 
DANIEL  BOONE 

Just  as  seven  cities  contended  for  the  honor  of  having  been 
the  birthplace  of  Homer;  so,  too,  many  states  are  proud  to 
boast  that  Boone  once  lived  within  their  borders.  But  North 
Carolina  was  the  home  of  his  boyhood,  his  young  manhood 
and  the  State  in  which  he  chose  his  wife.  From  his  home  at 
Holman's  Ford  he  passed  to  his  cabin  in  the  village  of  Boone 
on  frequent  occasions,  making  hunting  trips  from  that  point 
into  the  surrounding  mountains.  From  there,  too,  he  started 
on  his  trips  into  Kentucky. 

From  an  address  read  by  Miss  Esther  Ransom,  daughter 
of  the  late  U.  S.  Senator  Matt.  W.  Ransom,  to  Thomas  Polk 
Chapter,  D.  A.  R.,  the  following  is  copied  : 

"It  has  been  argued  that  Boone  did  not  fight  in  the  Revolutionary 
war.  This  is  true.  He  was  too  busy  fighting  Indians  in  Kentucky,  the 
'dark  and  bloody  ground.'  Let  me  impress  it  upon  you  that  but  for  Boone 
and  Clark  and  Denton  and  the  other  Indian  fighters  there  wouldn't  have 
been  any  Revolutionary  war;  no  Kings  Mountain,  no  Guilford  Court 
House,  no  Yorktown.  The  Indians  were  natural  allies  of  the  British. 
British  money  supplied  them  with  arms  and  ammunition  and  King  George 
III  was  constantly  inciting  them  through  his  officers,  to  murder  and 
destroy  the  Patriots. 

"Just  suppose  for  a  moment  if,  at  Kings  Mountain  where  the  moun- 
tain men  surrendered  Ferguson  they,  in  their  turn,  had  been  surrounded 
by  five  hundred  or  a  thousand  Indians.  The  day  would  have  ended  in 
dire  disaster  and  it  would  have  taken  another  Caesar  to  have  rescued  the 
Patriots  from  that  terrible  predicament. 

"Daniel  Boone  did  as  much  or  more  service  for  our  country  in  fight- 
ing Indians  and  keeping  them  back  as  if  he  had  served  in  the  war  with 
Washington  and  Green. 

"Like  Washington,  Boone  was  a  surveyor.  He  surveyed  nearly  all 
the  land  in  Kentucky.  He  was  a  law  maker.  He  passed  a  law  for  the 
protection  of  game  in  Kentucky  and  also  one  for  keeping  up  the  breed 
of  fine  horses. 

"Roosevelt  in  his  vigorous  English  calls  him  'Road-Builder,  town-maker 
and  Commonwealth  founder,'  and  when  Kentucky  had  representation 
in  Virignia,  Boone  sat  in  the  house  of  commons  as  a  Burgess. 

"He  might  be  styled  the  'Nimrod'  of  the  United  States,  for  truly  'He 
was  a  mighty  hunter  before  the  Lord.'" 

(79) 


80         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

John  Finley.  Finley  was  the  Scotch-Irishman  who  had 
descended  the  Ohio  river  as  far  as  Louisville  in  1752;  and 
who,  after  Boone's  return  from  his  trip  to  the  Big  Sandy  in 
1767,  turned  up  at  Boone's  cabin  at  Holman's  Ford  in  the 
winter  of  1768-69. x  He  had  suggested  when  on  the  Brad- 
dock  expedition  that  Boone  might  reach  Kentucky  "by  fol- 
lowing the  trail  of  the  buffaloes  and  the  Shawnese,  northwest- 
ward through  Cumberland  gap."2  "Scaling  the  lofty  Blue 
Ridge,  the  explorers  passed  over  Stone  and  Iron  mountains 
and  reached  Holston  Valley,  whence  they  proceeded  through 
Moccasin  gap  of  Clinch  mountain  and  crossed  over  interven- 
ing rivers  and  densely  wooded  hills  until  they  came  to  Powell's 
Valley,  then  the  furthest  limits  of  white  settlement.  Here 
they  found  a  hunters'  trail  which  led  them  through  Cumber- 
land gap. "  3  If  they  did  this  by  the  easiest  and  shortest  route, 
they  passed  up  the  Shawnee  trail  on  the  ridge  between  Elk 
and  Stony  forks  through  Cooks  gap,  down  by  Three  Forks 
of  New  river,  through  what  is  now  Boone  village  and  Hodges 
gap,  across  the  Grave  Yard  gap  down  to  Dog  Skin  creek, 
following  the  base  of  Rich  mountain  to  State  Line  gap  be- 
tween Zionville  and  Trade  to  the  head  of  Roan  creek  to  the 
crossing  of  the  two  Indian  trails  at  what  is  now  Shoun's  Cross 
Roads,  and  thence  over  the  Iron  mountains.  Any  other  route 
would  have  been  deliberately  to  go  wrong  for  the  sake  of 
doing  so.  From  any  eminence-  that  route  seemed  to  have 
been  marked  out  by  nature. 

Benjamin  Cutbirth.  This  name  was  pronounced  Cut- 
baird  according  to  the  recollection  of  Cyrus  Grubb,  a  prom- 
inent citizen  of  Watauga,  and  Benjamin  Cuthbirth's  name 
appears  on  the  records  of  Ashe  county  as  having  conveyed 
100  acres  of  land  on  the  South  Fork  of  New  river  to  Andrew 
Ferguson  in  1800.  This  is  the  same  "Scotch-Irishman"  who 
had  married  Elizabeth  Wilcoxen,  a  neice  of  Daniel  Boone,  at 
the  close  of  the  French  and  Indian  war,  and  when  he  was 
about  twenty-three  years  old.  In  1767  he  and  John  Stuart, 
John  Baker  and  John  Ward,  crossed  the  mountains  and  went 
to  the  Mississippi  river,  where  they  spent  a  year  or  two,  go- 
ing even  to  New  Orleans. 4 

Holman's  Ford.  About  this  time  Daniel  Boone  moved 
sixty-five  miles  west  from  the  Yadkin  settlement  near  Dutch- 


DANIEL  BOONE  81 


man's  creek,  "choosing  his  final  home  on  the  upper  Yadkin, 
just  above  the  mouth  of  Beaver  creek. 5  Col.  James  M.  Is- 
bell's  grantfather,  Martin,  told  him  that  Daniel  Boone  used 
to  live  six  miles  below  James  M.  Isbell's  present  home  near 
the  bank  of  the  Yadkin  river,  on  a  little  creek  now  known  as 
Beaver  creek,  one  mile  from  where  it  flows  into  the  Yadkin 
river,  near  Holman's  ford.  The  Boone  house  was  in  a  little 
swamp  and  canebrake  surrounding  the  point  of  a  ridge,  with 
but  one  approach — that  by  the  ridge.  The  swamp  was  in 
the  shape  of  a  horse-shoe,  with  the  point  of  the  ridge  pro- 
jecting into  it.  The  foundations  of  the  chimney  are  still 
there,  and  the  cabin  itself  has  not  been  gone  more  than  52 
years.  Alfred  Foster  who  owned  the  land  showed  Col.  Isbell 
the  cabin,  which  was  still  there  during  his  boyhood,  and  he 
remembered  how  it  looked.  His  grandmother,  the  wife  of 
Benjamin  Howard,  knew  Boone  well  as  he  often  stayed  with 
her  father,  Benjamin  Howard,  at  the  mouth  of  Elk  creek, 
now  Elkville. 6 

Boone's  Trip  to  Kentucky.  There  is  no  evidence  except 
the  inscription  on  the  leaning  beech  at  Boone's  creek,  nine 
miles  north  of  Jonesboro,  Tenn.,  that  Boone  was  at  that  spot 
in  1760.  Thwaite's  life  of  Boone,  compiled  from  the  Draper 
manuscript  in  the  Wisconsin  State  library,  says  that  in  the 
spring  of  1759,  Boone  and  two  of  his  sons  went  to  Culpepper 
county,  Virginia,  where  he  was  employed  in  hauling  tobacco 
to  Fredericksburg,  and  that  he  was  again  a  member  of  Hugh 
Waddell's  regiment  of  500  North  Carolinians,  when,  in  1761, 
they  fought  and  defeated  the  Cherokees  at  Long  Island  on 
the  Holston.  He  cites  the  inscription  but  gives  no  other 
facts. 7  As  1769  is  generally  considered  the  date  of  his  first 
trip  across  the  mountains,  it  becomes  important  to  state  that 
Thwaite  (p.  69)  says  that,  in  1767,  Boone's  brother-in-law, 
John  Stewart,  and  Benjamin  Cutbirth,  who  had  married 
Boone's  niece,  and  several  others,  went  west  as  far  as  the 
Mississippi,  crossing  the  mountains  and  returning  before 
1769;  and  that  Boone  himself,  and  William  Hall,  his  friend, 
and,  possibly,  Squire  Boone,  Daniel's  brother,  in  the  fall  of 
1767,  still  desiring  to  get  to  Kentucky — of  which  he  had  been 
told  by  John  Finley,  whom  he  had  met  in  the  Braddock  expe- 
dition— crossed  the  mountains  into  the  valleys  of  the  Hol- 
w.  n.  c. — 6 


82         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

ston,  and  the  Clinch,  and  reached  the  headwaters  of  the  west 
fork  of  the  Big  Sandy,  returning  to  Holman's  Ford  in  the 
spring  of  17G8. 

Colonel  James  M.  Isbell.  According  to  the  statement 
made  by  this  gentleman,  in  May,  1909,  Benjamin  Howard, 
his  grandfather,  owned  land  near  the  village  of  Boone,  and 
used  to  range  his  stock  in  the  mountains  surrounding  that 
picturesque  village.  He  built  a  cabin  of  logs  in  front  of  what 
is  now  the  Boys'  Dormitory  of  the  Appalachian  Training 
School  for  the  accommodation  of  himself  and  his  herders 
whenever  he  or  they  should  come  from  his  home  on  the  head 
waters  of  the  Yadkin,  at  Elkville.  Among  the  herders  was 
an  African  slave  named  Burrell.  When  Col.  Isbell  was  a  boy, 
say,  about  1845,  Burrell  was  still  alive,  but  was  said  to  have 
been  over  one  hundred  years  of  age.  He  told  Col.  Isbell  that 
he  had  piloted  Daniel  Boone  across  the  Blue  Ridge  to  the 
Howard  cabin  the  first  trip  Boone  ever  took  across  the  moun- 
tains. 

Boone's  Trail.  8  They  went  up  the  ridge  between  Elk 
creek  and  Stony  Fork  creek,  following  a  well-known  Indian 
trail,  passed  through  what  is  now  called  Cook's  gap,  and  on 
by  Three  Forks  church  to  what  is  now  Boone.  There  is 
some  claim  that  Boone  passed  through  Deep  gap;  but  that 
is  six  miles  further  north  than  Cook's  gap,  and  that  much  out 
of  a  direct  course.  If  Boone  wanted  to  go  to  Kentucky  he 
knew  his  general  course  was  northwest;  and  having  reached  the 
town  of  Boone  or  Howard's  cabin,  his  most  direct  route  would 
have  been  through  Hodge's  gap,  down  Brushy  Fork  creek 
two  miles,  and  then  crossing  the  Grave  Yard  gap  to  Dog 
Skin  creek;  then  along  the  base  of  Rich  mountain,  crossing 
what  was  then  Sharp's  creek  (now  Silverstone)  to  the  gap 
between  what  is  now  Zionville  in  North  Carolina  and  Trade 
in  Tennessee.  He  would  then  have  been  at  the  head  of  Roan's 
creek,  down  which  he  is  known  to  have  passed  as  far  as  what 
is  now  known  as  Shoun's  Cross  Roads.  There,  on  a  farm 
once  owned  by  a  Wagner  and  now  by  Wiley  Jenkins,  he 
camped.  His  course  from  there  in  a  northwesterly  direction 
would  have  led  him  across  the  Iron  and  Holston  mountains 
to  the  Holston  river  and  Powell's  Valley.  There  is  also  a 
tradition  that  he  followed  the  Brushy  Fork  creek  from  Hodge's 
gap  to  Cove  creek;  thence  down  Cove  creek  to  Rock  House 


DANIEL  BOONE  83 


branch  at  Dr.  Jordan  B.  Phillips' — also  a  descendant  of  Ben- 
jamin   Howard — across    Ward    gap    to    the    Beaver    Dams; 
then  across  Baker's  gap  to  Roan's  creek;  thence  down  it  to 
its  mouth  in  the  Watauga  at  what  is  now  Butler,  Tenn.     Also, 
that  when  he  got  to  the  mouth  of  the  Brushy  fork  he  crossed 
over  to  the  Beaver  Dams  through  what  has  for  many  years 
been  called  George's  gap;  and  thence  over  Baker's  gap.9     If 
he  took  either  of  these  routes  he  preferred  to  cross  two  high 
mountains  and  to  follow  an  almost  due  southwest  course  to 
following  a  well-worn  and  well-known  Indian  trail  which  was 
almost  level  and  that  led  directly  in  the  direction  he  wished 
to  go.     A  road  now  leaves  the  wagon  road  nearly  opposite 
the   Brushy   Fork   Baptist   church,    about   three   miles   from 
Boone,  and  crosses  a  ridge  over  to  Dog  Skin  creek,  and  thence 
over  the  Grave  Yard  gap  to  Silverstone,  Zionville,  and  Trade, 
thus  cutting  off  the  angle  made  by  following  Brushy  Fork  to 
its  mouth. x  °     Tradition  says  the   Indian  trail  also   crossed 
Dog  Skin  and  the  Grave  Yard  gap.     Yet,  while  this  seems 
to  be  the  most  feasible  and  natural  trail,  the  venerable  Levi 
Morphew,  now  well  up  in  ninety,  thinks  Boone  had  a  camp 
on  Boone's  branch  of  Hog  Elk,  two  miles  east  of  the  Winding 
Stairs  trail,  by  which  he  probably  crossed  the  Blue  Ridge, 
which  would  have  taken  him  four  miles  northeast  of  Cook's 
gap,  and  Col.  Bryan  states  that  there  is  a  tradition  that  Boone 
passed  through  Deep  gap,  crossed  the  Bald  mountain  and  Long 
Hope  creek,  through  the  Ambrose  gap  and  so  into  Tennessee. 
No  doubt  all  these  routes  were  followed  by  Boone  during  his 
hunting  trips  through  these  mountains  prior  to  his  first  great 
treck  into  Kentucky;  but  on  that  important  occasion  it  is 
more  than  probable  that,  as  his  horses  were  heavily  laden 
with  camp  equipage,  salt,  ammunition  and  supplies,  he   fol- 
lowed the  easiest,  most  direct,  and  most  feasible  route,  and 
that  was  via  Cook's  gap,  Three  Forks,  Hodges'  gap,  across 
Dog  Skin,  over  the  Grave  Yard  gap,  to  Zionville  and  Trade 
and  thence  to  what  is  now  known  as  Shoun's  Cross  Roads. 
Boone's  Cabin  Monument.    The  chimney  stones  of  the 
cabin  in  which  it  is  said  that  Boone  camped  while  hunting  in 
New  river  valley  are  still  visible  at  the  site  of  that  cabin  where 
it  is  said  Boone  was  found  one  snowy  night  seated  by  a  roar- 
ing fire  when  the  young  couple  who  had  occupied  it  the  night 
before  and  had  allowed  their  fire  to  go  entirely  out,  returned 


84         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

from  a  trip  to  the  Yadkin  for  a  "live  chunk"  with  which  to 
rekindle  it;  but  which  they  had  dropped  in  the  snow  when 
almost  at  Boone's  cabin,  thus  putting  it  out,  and  leaving  them 
as  badly  off  as  when  they  had  set  out  that  morning.  Boone 
had  struck  fire  from  his  flint  and  steel  rifle  and  caught  the  spark 
in  tow,  from  which  he  had  kindled  his  blaze.  Upon  this  site, 
that  public-spirited  citizen,  the  venerable  and  well-informed 
Col.  W.  L.  Bryan,  now  in  his  76th  year,  has  erected  an  impos- 
ing stone  and  concrete  monument,  whose  base  is  seven  by 
seven  feet,  with  a  shaft  26  feet  in  height.  On  the  side  facing 
the  road  is  the  following  inscription,  chiseled  in  white  marble: 
" Daniel  Boone,  Pioneer  and  Hunter;  Born  Feb.  11,  1735; 
Died  Sep.  26,  1820."  On  the  opposite  side  of  the  monument 
on  a  similar  stone  is  the  following:  "W.  L.  Bryan,  Son  of 
Battle  and  Rebecca  Miller  Bryan;  Born  Nov.  19,  1837;  Built 
Daniel  Boone  Monument,  Oct.  1912.     Cost  $203.27." 

Boone's  Watauga  Relatives.  William  Coffey  married 
Anna  Boone,  a  sister  of  Jesse  Boone  and  a  neice  of  Daniel 
Boone.  She  had  another  brother  called  Israel  Boone.  Jesse 
Boone  undoubtedly  lived  in  a  cabin  which  used  to  stand  in  a 
field  four  miles  from  Shull's  mills  and  two  miles  from  Kelsey 
post  office,  where  he  had  cleared  a  field.  The  chimney  foun- 
dation is  still  shown  as  his.  On  the  8th  of  July,  1823,  Jesse 
Boone  conveyed  to  William  and  Alexander  Elrod  for  $600 
350  acres  of  land  on  Flannery's  fork  of  New  River  and  on 
Roaring  branch,  about  two  miles  southeast  of  Boone  village; 
adjoining  land  then  being  owned  by  John  Agers,  Jesse  Council 
and  Russell  Sams,  and  now  owned  in  part  by  J.  W.  Farthing. 
This  deed  was  registered  in  Book  M,  page  391,  of  Ashe  county 
records,  July  2,  1841.  When  Jesse  Boone's  sister,  Anna  Cof- 
fey, was  nearly  one  hundred  years  old  she  talked  with  Mr. 
J.  W.  Farthing  while  he  was  building  a  house  for  her  grand- 
son Patrick  Coffey,  on  Mulberry  creek,  Caldwell  county,  in 
1871.  Mr.  Mack  Cook  of  Lenoir  is  a  direct  descendant  of 
Daniel  Boone's  brother,  Israel,  Boone  and  has  a  rifle  and  pow- 
der horn  that  used  to  belong  to  him.  Arthur  B.  Boone  of 
Jacksonville,  Fla.,  claims  direct  descent  from  Daniel  Boone, 
and  his  son  Robbie  E.  Boone,  has  a  razor  said  to  have  been  the 
property  of  Daniel  Boone.  There  are  many  others  who  are 
related  to  the  Boone  family.  Col.  W.  L.  Bryan  thinks  that 
Thwaites  is  mistaken  in  stating  that  Rebecca  Boone  was  the 


DANIEL  BOONE  85 


daughter  of  Joseph  Bryan,  as  her  father's  name  was  Morgan, 
from  whom  he  himself  and  William  Jennings  Bryan  are  di- 
rectly descended.  * x  Smith  Coffey  was  born  in  1832  in  Cald- 
well county,  and  says  that  Jesse  was  a  brother  of  Daniel 
Boone,  and  had  three  daughters;  Anna,  who  married  William 
Coffey;  Hannah,  who  married  Smith  Coffey,  and  Celie,  who 
married  Buck  Craig.  The  Smith  Coffey  who  married  Han- 
nah Boone  was  the  present  Smith  Coffey's  grandfather. 
Smith  Coffey's  father  moved  to  Cherokee  in  1838  and  set- 
tled on  Hiwassee  river  four  miles  above  Murphy,  after  which 
he  moved  to  Peach  Tree  creek  where  he  died  a  year  later, 
his  family  returning  to  Caldwell.  In  1858  Smith  returned  to 
Cherokee  and  lived  on  a  place  adjoining  the  farm  of  George 
Hayes  on  Valley  river,  and  had  a  fight  with  that  gentleman 
concerning  a  sow  just  before  the  Civil  War.  Nevertheless  he 
joined  Hayes'  company,  when  the  war  began,  which  became 
Company  A  in  the  Second  N.  C.  Cavalry.  After  the  battle 
before  New  Bern,  Hayes  resigned  and  returned  to  Cherokee, 
and  William  B.  Tidwell  of  Tusquitte,  now  Clay  county,  was 
elected  captain  from  the  ranks,  and  retained  that  place  till 
the  close  of  the  war. 

The  Henderson  Purchase.  Although  the  purchase  of  In- 
dian lands  by  white  men  had  been  prohibited  by  royal  proc- 
lamation12 as  early  as  October  7,  1763,  and  although  much  of 
the  territory  was  in  the  actual  possession  of  the  Indians, 
Richard  Henderson  and  eight  other  private  citizens  deter- 
mined to  buy  a  large  tract  of  land  in  Kentucky  and  the  north- 
ern part  of  Middle  Tennessee.  To  anticipate  somewhat,  it 
may  be  here  stated  that  this  intention  was  carried  out  but 
afterwards  repudiated  by  both  Virginia,  which  claimed  the 
Kentucky  portion,  and  North  Carolina,  which  claimed  the 
Tennessee  tract,  and  Henderson  and  his  associates  were  par- 
tially compensated  by  grants  of  much  smaller  bodies  of 
land;13  nevertheless,  at  the  treaty  of  Hopewell,  S.  C,  on  the 
Keowee  river,  fifteen  miles  above  its  junction  with  the  Tuga- 
loo,  on  the  18th  of  December,  1785,  Benjamin  Hawkins,  An- 
drew Pickens,  Joseph  Martin  and  Lachlan  Campbell,  com- 
missioners representing  the  United  States,  had  the  face  to 
deny  the  claim  of  the  Indians  to  this  identical  territory — 
contending  that  they  had  already  sold  it  to  Henderson  and 
associates. *  4 


86         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Boone's  Split-Bullet.  About  1890  John  K.  Perry  and 
another  were  felling  trees  in  Ward's  gap  on  Beaver  Dams, 
Watauga  county,  when  Perry's  companion  cut  a  bullet  in 
two  while  trimming  a  young  poplar.  He  remarked  that  it 
might  have  been  fired  there  by  Daniel  Boone,  as  it  was  on 
his  old  trail.  Perry  said  that  whether  Boone  fired  it  or  not 
it  should  be  a  Boone  bullet  thereafter.  So,  he  filed  two  cor- 
ners off  a  shingle  nail  and  pressing  the  point  of  the  nail  thus 
filed  on  to  the  clean  surface  of  the  split  bullet  made  the  first 
part  of  a  B.  Then  he  finished  the  second  part  by  pressing 
the  nail  below  the  first  impression,  and  found  he  had  a  per- 
fect B.  Filing  a  larger  nail  in  the  same  way  he  made  the 
impression  of  a  D,  which  completed  Boone's  initials.  This 
was  shown  around  the  neighborhood  for  a  number  of  years, 
and  most  people  contended  that  the  bullet  really  had  been 
fired  from  Boone's  rifle.  But  in  June,  1909,  Mr.  Perry  dis- 
closed the  joke  rather  than  have  the  deception  get  into  se- 
rious history. 

Daniel  Boone,  the  Path  Finder.  From  Chief  Justice 
Walter  Clark's  "The  Colony  of  Transylvania,"  (N.  C.  Booklet, 
Vol.  iii,  No.  9)  we  learn  that  Boone  was  a  wagoner  under 
Hugh  Waddell  in  Braddock's  campaign  of  1755,  when  Boone 
was  21  years  old;  and  that  "in  the  following  years  he  made 
the  acquaintance  of  Col.  Richard  Henderson,  who,  struck 
with  Boone's  intelligence,  and  the  opportunity  for  fortune 
offered  by  the  new  lands  south  of  the  Ohio,  since  known  as 
Kentucky,  organized  a  company,  and  employed  Boone  in 
1763  to  spy  out  the  country  1 5  .  .  .  Years  passed  before  it 
took  final  shape.  Boone  is  known  to  have  made  one  of  his 
visits  to  Kentucky  in  1769,  and  was  probably  there  earlier. '  6 
In  1773  he  again  attempted  to  enter  Kentucky,  carrying 
his  family,  but  was  driven  back  with  the  loss  of  six  men 
killed  by  the  Indians,  among  them  his  eldest  son  at  Wallen's 
gap."  But  in  1768  Henderson  had  been  appointed  a  judge, 
which  position  he  held  till  1773  and  which  probably  delayed 
his  land  scheme;  but  in  1774  Nathaniel  Hart,  one  of  Hender- 
son's partners,  journeyed  to  the  Otari  towns  to  open  negoti- 
ations with  the  Cherokees  for  the  grant  of  suitable  territory 
for  a  colony  of  whites.  On  March  17,  1775,  the  Overhill 
Cherokees  assembled  at  the  Sycamore  Shoals  of  the  Watauga, 
pursuant  to  an  order  of  their  chief,  Oconostata,  where  a  treaty 


DANIEL  BOONE  87 


was  made  and  signed  by  him  and  two  other  chiefs,  Savanoo- 
koo  and  Little  Carpenter  (Atta  Culla  Culla),  by  which,  in 
consideration  of  £12,000  in  goods,  the  Cherokees  granted  the 
lands  between  the  Kentucky  and  Cumberland  rivers,  em- 
bracing one-half  of  what  is  now  Kentucky  and  a  part  of  Ten- 
nessee. But  Dragging  Canoe,  a  chief,  had  opposed  a  treaty 
for  four  days,  and  never  consented  to  it.  The  share  of  one 
brave  was  only  one  shirt.  But,  the  Cherokees  had  no  title 
to  convey,  as  this  land  was  a  battle-ground  where  the  hostile 
tribes  met  and  fought  out  their  differences.  Besides,  this  con- 
veyance of  the  land  by  Indians  was  unlawful  under  both  the 
British  and  colonial  laws.  Henderson  called  this  grant  Tran- 
sylvania. 

As  soon  as  Henderson  thought  this  treaty  would  be  signed 
he  started  Boone  ahead  on  March  10,  1775,  with  30  men,  to 
clear  a  trail  from  the  Holston  to  Kentucky — the  first  regular 
path  opened  in  the  wilderness. 

The  Boone  Family.  Many  people  of  the  mountains 
claim  descent  or  collateral  relationship  with  Daniel  Boone. 
His  father  was  Squire  Boone,  who  was  born  in  Devonshire, 
England  and  came  to  Pennsylvania,  between  1712  and  1714, 
when  he  was  about  21  years  old.  He  mariecl  Sarah  Morgan 
July  23,  1720.  Their  children  were  Sarah,  Israel,  Samuel, 
Jonathan,  Elizabeth,  Mary,  Daniel,  George,  Edward,  Squire 
and  Hannah,  all  born  at  Otey,  Penn.  Daniel  was  the  sixth 
child  and  was  born  November  2,  1734.  Edward  was  killed 
by  Indians  when  36  years  old,  and  Squire  died  at  the  age  of 
76.  Daniel  married  Rebecca  Bryan,  daughter  of  Joseph,  in 
the  spring  of  1756.  Daniel's  children  were  James,  Israel, 
Susannah,  Jemima,  Lavinia,  Rebecca,  Daniel  Morgan,  John 
B.  and  Nathan.  The  four  daughters  married.  The  two 
eldest  sons  were  killed  by  Indians,  and  the  three  younger 
emigrated  to  Missouri. 1 7  None  of  Daniel's  children  was 
named  Jesse,  but  there  was  a  Jesse  Boone  who  lived  just 
west  of  the  Blue  Ridge,  about  four  miles  east  of  Shull's  Mills 
and  one  mile  west  of  Kelsey  postoffice  in  Watauga  county, 
N.  C.  This  was  on  what  has  been  called  "Boone's  Fork" 
of  Watauga  river. 

The  Calloways.  Among  the  Kentucky  pioneers  was 
Col.  Richard  Calloway18.  Two  of  his  daughters,  Betsy  and 
Fanny,  were  captured  with  Jemima,  Boone's  second  daugh- 


88         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

ter,  in  a  boat  at  Boonesborough,  Ky.,  on  the  17th  of  July, 
1776.  They  were  recovered  unharmed  soon  afterwards;19 
and  in  the  following  August  Betsy  was  married  to  Samuel 
Henderson,  one  of  the  rescuing  party. 2  °  Jemima  Boone 
afterwards  married  Flanders  Calloway,  a  son  of  Colonel  Cal- 
loway. 2  x  It  was  this  Colonel  Calloway  who  accused  Boone 
of  having  voluntarily  surrendered  26  of  his  men  at  the  Salt 
Licks;  that  when  a  prisoner  at  Detroit  he  had  engaged  with 
Gov.  Hamilton  to  surrender  Boonesborough,  and  that  he  had 
attempted  to  weaken  the  garrison  at  Boonesborough  before 
its  attack  by  the  Indians  by  withdrawing  men  and  officers, 
etc. ; 2  2  but  Boone  was  not  only  honorably  acquitted,  but 
promoted  from  a  captaincy  to  that  of  major.  Related  to  this 
Colonel  Calloway  was  Elijah  Calloway,  son  of  Thomas  Cal- 
loway of  Virginia,  who  "did  much  for  the  good  of  society 
and  was  a  soldier  at  Norfolk,  Va.,  in  the  War  of  1812."  23 
John  Calloway  represented  Ashe  county  in  the  House  in  1800, 
and  in  the  Senate  in  1807,  1808,  1809;  and  Elijah  Calloway 
was  in  the  House  from  1813  to  1817,  and  in  the  Senate  in  1818 
and  1818,  and  1819.  One  of  these  men  is  said  to  have  walked 
to  Raleigh,  supporting  himself  on  the  way  by  shooting  game, 
and  in  this  way  saved  enough  to  build  a  brick  house  with  glass 
windows,  the  first  in  Ashe,  near  what  is  now  Obid.  He  was 
turned  out  of  the  Bear  creek  Baptist  church  because  he  had 
thus  proven  himself  to  be  a  rich  man;  and  the  Bible  said  no 
rich  man  could  enter  the  kingdom  of  heaven.  The  church  in 
which  he  was  tried  was  of  logs,  but  the  accused  sat  defiantly 
during  the  trial  in  a  splint-bottomed  chair,  which  he  gave  to 
Mrs.  Sarah  Miller  of  that  locality.  This  may  have  been 
Thomas  Calloway,  whose  grave  is  at  Obid,  marked  with  a 
long,  slender  stone  which  had  marked  one  of  the  camping 
places  of  Daniel  Boone. 2  4 

An  Important  Historical  Contribution.  Dr.  Archi- 
bald Henderson,  a  descendant  of  Richard  Henderson,  pub- 
lished in  the  Charlotte  (Sunday)  Observer,  between  the  16th 
of  March  and  the  1st  of  June,  1913,  a  series  of  articles  entit- 
led "Life  and  Times  of  Richard  Henderson,"  in  which  much 
absolutely  new  matter  is  introduced,  and  numerous  mistakes 
have  been  corrected  in  what  has  hitherto  been  accepted  as 
history.  It  is  especially  valuable  regarding  the  Regulators' 
agitation  and  the  part  therein  borne  by  Richard  Henderson. 


DANIEL  BOONE  89 


Dr.  Henderson  is  a  member  of  the  faculty  of  the  University  of 
North  Carolina,  of  the  State  Library  and  Historical  Associa- 
tion, and  of  the  American  Historical  Association,  and  in  the 
forthcoming  volume,  soon  to  appear,  he  will  put  the  result 
of  years  of  study  and  research  into  permanent  form.  He 
may  be  relied  on  to  give  adequate  authority  for  every  state- 
ment of  importance  concerning  his  remarkable  kinsman  and 
the  times  in  which  he  lived. 

Henderson's  Share  in  Boone's  Explorations.  Roose- 
velt, Ramsey  and  other  historians  have  related  the  bare  fact 
that  Boone  went  on  his  first  trip  into  Kentucky  in  1764  at 
the  instance  of  Richard  Henderson;  but  in  these  papers  the 
details  of  the  association  of  the  two  men  are  set  forth.  Cer- 
tainly as  early  as  1763,  Boone  and  Henderson,  then  a  lawyer, 
met,  and  discussed  the  territory  lying  to  the  west  of  the  moun- 
tains. Henderson  was  seated  as  a  Superior  Court  judge  at 
Salisbury,  March  5,  1868,  and  ceased  to  represent  Boone  as 
attorney  in  litigation  then  pending  before  the  Superior  Court 
of  Rowan  county;  but  in  March,  1769,  when  the  distinguished 
Waightstill  Avery,  then  fresh  from  his  birthplace,  Norwich, 
Conn.,  and  from  Princeton  College,  where  he  had  graduated 
in  1766,  made  his  first  appearance  before  the  bar  of  that 
county,  we  are  told  that  he  might  have  seen  also  "the  skilled 
scout  and  hunter,  garbed  in  hunting  shirt,  fringed  leggings 
and  moccasins,  the  then  little  known  Daniel  Boone,"  who 
attended  that  term  of  court  in  defence  of  a  lawsuit,  and  must 
have  (as  shown  by  the  sequel)  conferred  with  Judge  Hen- 
derson at  this  time  about  his  contemplated  trip  into  Tennessee 
and  Kentucky  in  the  interest  of  himself,  John  Williams  and 
Thomas  Hart,  Henderson's  first  associates  in  the  coloniza- 
tion enterprize  he  contemplated  even  at  that  early  date,  and 
while  holding  a  commission  as  judge  of  the  colony.25 

The  Six  Nations'  Claims  to  "Cherokee."  Before  Rich- 
ard Henderson's  appointment  as  judge  by  Governor  Try  on 
in  1768,  he  and  Hart  and  Williams  had  engaged  Boone  to 
spy  out  the  western  lands  for  them  as  early  as  1764,  though 
the  proclamation  of  George  IV,  in  1763,  forbidding  the  East- 
ern Colonists  to  settle  on  lands  west  of  the  Blue  Ridge,  may 
have  retarded  their  plans  for  "securing  title  to  vast  tracts 
of  western  lands,  and  no  move  was  made  by  Henderson 
to  that  end  until  after  the  treaty  of  Fort  Stanwix  in  1768,  by 


90         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

which  Great  Britain  had  acquired  by  purchase  from  the  Six 
Nations  their  unwarranted  claim  to  all  the  territory  east  and 
southeast  of  the  Ohio  and  north  of  the  Tennessee  rivers,  which 
territory  had  always  been  claimed  by  the  Cherokees,  and 
that  country  was  then  known  as  "Cherokee."26 

Title  of  the  Cherokees.  "The  ownership  of  all  the 
Kentucky  region,  with  the  exception  of  the  extreme  north- 
eastern section,  remained  vested  absolutely  in  the  tribe  of 
Cherokee  Indians.  Their  title  to  the  territory  had  been 
acknowledged  by  Great  Britain  through  her  Southern  agent 
of  Indian  Affairs,  John  Stuart,  at  the  Treaty  of  Lochaber  in 
1770."  27 

King  George's  Proclamation  Made  to  be  Broken? 
Dr.  Henderson  insists  that  the  King's  proclamation  forbid- 
ding the  acquisition  of  Indian  lands  by  the  settlers  was  uni- 
versally disregarded  by  the  settlers  of  the  east.  And  while 
he  points  out  that  Richard  Henderson  obtained  an  "opinion, 
handed  down  by  the  Lord  Chancellor  and  the  Attorney  Gen- 
eral,"  which  "cleared  away  the  legal  difficulties"  in  the  way 
of  securing  "an  indisputable  title  from  the  Indian  owners  and 
.  .  .  to  surmount  the  far  more  serious  obstacle  of  Royal 
edict  against  the  purchase  of  lands  from  the  Indians  by  pri- 
vate individuals,  he  would  doutbless  have  been  justified  in 
his  purchase  by  the  popular  sentiment  of  the  day  in  view  of 
the  universal  disregard  of  the  Royal  Proclamation  of  1763." 
Dr.  Henderson  points  out  that  "George  Washington  expressed 
the  secret  belief  of  the  period  when  he  hazarded  the  judgment 
that  the  Royal  Proclamation  of  1763  was  a  mere  temporary 
expedient  to  quiet  the  Indians,  and  was  not  intended  as  a 
permanent  bar  to  Western  Civilization.  .  .  .  George  Wash- 
ington, acquiring  vast  tracts  of  western  land  by  secret  pur- 
chase, indirectly  stimulated  the  powerful  army  that  was 
carrying  the  broadax  westward.  .  .  .  It  is  no  reflection  upon 
the  fame  of  George  Washington  to  point  out  that,  of  the  two, 
the  service  to  the  nation  of  Richard  Henderson  in  promoting 
western  civilization  was  vastly  more  generous  in  its  nature 
and  far-reaching  in  its  results  than  the  more  selfish  and  pru- 
dent aims  of  Washington. "  2  8 

Henderson's  Title.  "The  valid  ownership  of  the  terri- 
tory being  [now]  actually  vested  in  the  Cherokees,  Hender- 
son foresaw  that  the  lands  could  be  acquired  only  by  lease 


DANIEL  BOONE  91 


or  by  purchase  from  that  tribe,  and  he  forthwith  set  about 
acquiring  an  accurate  knowledge  of  the  territory  in  question. 
To  get  this  information  the  services  of  Daniel  Boone  were 
secured,  and  the  latter  must  have  "  conferred  with  Judge 
Henderson  at  Salisbury  where  he  was  presiding  over  the 
Superior  Court,  and  plans  were  soon  outlined  for  Boone's 
journey  and  expedition.  At  this  time  Boone  was  very  poor 
and  his  desire  to  pay  off  his  indebtedness  to  Henderson  [law- 
yer's fees]  made  him  all  the  more  ready  to  undertake  the  exhaus- 
tive tour  of  exploration  in  company  with  Finley  and  others"; 
but  "at  the  time  of  Boone's  return  to  North  Carolina  Judge 
Henderson  was  embroiled  in  the  exciting  issues  of  the  Regu- 
lation. His  plan  to  inaugurate  his  great  western  venture 
was  thus  temporarily  frustrated;  but  the  dissolution  of  the 
Superior  Court  (under  the  judiciary  act  of  1767)  took  place 
in  1773,"  and  left  Richard  Henderson  free  to  act  as  he  saw 
fit.29 

Henderson  and  Daniel  Boone.  "In  the  meantime, 
Daniel  Boone  grew  impatient  over  the  delay  .  .  .  and  on 
September  25,  1773,  started  from  the  Yadkin  Valley  .  .  . 
for  Kentucky,  with  a  colony  numbering  eighteen  men,  besides 
women  and  children;"  but,  being  attacked  by  Indians,  and 
some  of  Boone's  party,  including  his  own  son,  having  been 
killed,  "the  whole  party  scattered  and  returned  to  the  set- 
tlements. This  incident  is  significant  evidence  that  Boone 
was  deficient  in  executive  ability,  the  power  to  originate  and 
execute  schemes  of  colonization  on  a  grand  scale  .  .  .  Boone 
lacked  constructive  leadership  and  executive  genius.  He 
was  a  perfect  instrument  for  executing  the  designs  of  others. 
It  was  not  until  the  creative  and  executive  brain  of  Richard 
Henderson  was  applied  to  the  vast  and  daring  project  of  West- 
ern colonization  that  it  was  carried  through  to  a  successful 
termination."  30 

Henderson's  Scheme  Denounced.  "When,  on  Christmas 
Day,  1774,  there  was  spread  broadcast  throughout  the  colony 
of  North  Carolina  'Proposals  for  the  encouragement  of  set- 
tling the  lands  purchased  by  Messrs.  Richard  Henderson  & 
Co.,  on  the  branches  of  the  Mississippi  river  from  the  Chero- 
kee tribe  of  Indians,'  a  genuine  sensation  was  created."  Archi- 
bald Neilson,  deputy  auditor  of  the  colony,  asked  :  "Is  Richard 
Henderson   out   of   his   head?"  and  Governor  Josiah  Martin 


92         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

issued  "a  forcible-feeble  proclamation  against  Richard  Hender- 
son and  his  confederates  in  their  daring,  unjust  and  unwar- 
rantable proceeding.  In  letters  to  the  Earl  of  Dartmouth, 
Martin  speaks  scathingly  of  'Henderson,  the  famous  invader/ 
and  of  'the  infamous  Henderson  and  his  associates'  whom  he 
dubs  'an  infamous  company  of  land  Pyrates.'  He  denounced 
their  project  as  a  'lawless  undertaking,'  and  'an  infraction  of 
the  royal  prerogative.'  But  these  'fulminations'  were  un- 
heeded and  'the  goods  already  purchased  were  transported 
over  the  mountains  in  wagons  to  the  Sycamore  Shoals.'  " 3 1 

Failure  of  the  Transylvania  Colony.  "Serious  dan- 
gers from  without  began  to  threaten  the  safety  and  integrity 
of  the  colony.  While  the  Transylvania  legislature  was  in 
session,  Governor  Josiah  Martin  of  North  Carolina  inglori- 
ously  fled  from  his  'palace',  and  on  the  very  day  that  his 
emissary,  a  British  spy,  arrived  at  Boonesborough,  Lord 
Dunmore,  the  royal  governor  of  Virginia,  escaped  to  the  pro- 
tection of  the  British  vessel,  the  'Fowey'  ...  At  Oxford, 
N.  C,  on  September  25,  1775,  the  proprietors  of  the  Tran- 
sylvania company  drew  up  a  memorial  to  the  Continental 
Congress,  then  in  session  at  Philadelphia,  for  the  recognition 
of  the  Transylvania  company  as  the  fourteenth  American 
colony;  but  this  was  refused  "until  it  had  been  properly  ac- 
knowledged by  Virginia."  Application  was  then  made  to  the 
Virginia  convention  at  Williamsburg  for  recognition,  but  the 
effort  of  Henderson,  assisted  by  Thomas  Burke,  was  "de- 
feated chiefly  through  the  opposition  of  two  remarkable  men  : 
George  Rogers  Clark,  who  represented  the  rival  settlement  of 
Harrodsburg  in  Kentucky,  and  Patrick  Henry,  who  sought  to 
extend  in  all  directions  the  power  and  extent  of  the  'Ancient 
Dominion  of  Virginia.'  Under  pressure  of  Henderson's  repre- 
sentations, Virginia  finally  acknowledged  the  validity  of  the 
Transylvanians'  claims  against  the  Indians;  but  boldly  con- 
fiscated the  purchase,  and  made  of  Transylvania  a  county  of 
Virginia.  Instead  of  the  20,000,000  acres  obtained  by  the 
treaty  of  Sycamore  Shoals,  Virginia  granted  the  company 
200,000  acres  between  the  Ohio  and  Green  rivers,  and  North 
Carolina  later  granted  to  the  company  a  like  amount  on  Powell 
and  Clinch  rivers  in  Tennessee."  3  2 

Henderson  and  James  Robertson.  Dr.  Archibald  Hen- 
derson claims  for  his  kinsman  the  honor  of  "having  accom- 


DANIEL  BOONE  93 


plished  for  Tennessee,  in  the  same  constructive  way  as  he  had 
done  for  Kentucky  [at  Boonesborough],  the  pioneer  task  of 
establishing  a  colony  in  the  midst  of  the  Tennessee  wilder- 
ness, devising  a  system  of  laws  and  convening  a  legislature 
for  the  passage  of  those  laws."  This  was  nothing  less  than 
the  settlement  of  Nashborough  (now  Nashville)  and  the  coun- 
try surrounding  it;  for  he  claims  that  "under  Henderson's 
direction  Robertson  made  a  long  and  extended  examination 
of  the  region  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  French  Lick,  just  as 
Boone  in  1769-1771  had  made  a  detailed  examination  under 
Henderson's  direction  of  the  Kentucky  area.  Upon  his  re- 
turn to  the  Watauga  settlements  on  the  Holston,  Robertson 
found  many  settlers  ready  and  eager  to  take  the  great  step 
towards  colonization  of  the  new  lands,  inspired  by  the  prom- 
ise of  Henderson  and  the  enthusiastic  reports  of  Robertson 
and  his  companions."  It  was  while  Henderson  was  engaged 
in  surveying  the  line  between  Virginia  and  North  Carolina — 
"the  famous  line  of  latitude  of  36°  30'  "—"that  the  Watauga 
settlers  set  out  for  the  wilderness  of  the  Cumberland.  Part 
of  these  settlers  went  by  water — down  the  Tennessee  and  up 
the  Cumberland  rivers — under  the  leadership  of  Col.  John 
Donelson,  father  of  Mrs.  Andrew  Jackson,  and  the  others, 
under  Robertson,  overland.  Donelson's  diary  records  the 
meeting  of  Richard  Henderson  on  Friday,  March  31,  1780. 
Henderson  not  only  supplied  the  party  with  all  needed  in- 
formation but  informed  them  that  "he  had  purchased  a  quan- 
tity of  corn  in  Kentucky  to  be  shipped  at  the  Falls  of  Ohio 
(Lousville)  for  the  Cumberland  settlement.  .  .  .  James 
Robertson's  party  had  already  arrived  and  built  a  few  log 
cabins  on  a  cedar  bluff  above  the  'Lick',  when  Donelson's 
party  arrived  by  boat,  April  24,1780.  Henderson  himself  ar- 
rived soon  afterwards,  and,  assisted  by  James  Robertson, 
drew  up  and  adopted  a  plan  of  civil  government  for  the  col- 
ony. A  land  office  was  established;  the  power  to  appoint 
the  entry-taker  was  vested  in  Henderson,  as  president  of  the 
Transylvania  company,  and  the  Transylvania  company  was  to 
be  paid  for  the  lands  at  the  rate  of  26  lbs.,  13  shillings  and  4 
pence,  current  money,  a  hundred  acres,  as  soon  as  the  com- 
pany could  assure  the  settlers  a  satisfactory  and  indisputable 
title.  This  resulted  in  perpetual  non-payment,  since  in  1783, 
North   Carolina,   following  Virginia's   lead,   expropriated  the 


94         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

lands  of  the  Transylvania  company,  granting  them  in  com- 
pensation a  tract  of  200,000  acres  in  Powell's  Valley."  Hen- 
derson returned  to  North  Carolina,  and  died  in  1785,  aged 
fifty;  and  although  memorials  in  his  honor  have  been  erected 
in  Tennessee  and  Kentucky,  his  grave  at  Nutbush  creek  in 
North  Carolina  is  unmarked;  "and  North  Carolina  has  erected 
no  monument  as  yet  to  the  man  who  may  justly  be  termed 
the  founder  of  Kentucky  and  Tennessee."  3  3 

The  Shadow  of  Coming  Events.  34  "One  sentence  of  this 
backwoods  constitution  [of  Nashborough],  remarkable  in  its 
political  anticipation,  is  nothing  less  than  that  establishing  for 
the  first  time  in  America  the  progressive  doctrine  of  which  so 
much  is  heard  today,  the  recall  of  judges  .  .  .  and  must  for- 
ever be  associated  in  American  history  with  the  names  of 
Henderson  and  his  coadjutor,  Robertson  :  'As  often  as  the 
people  in  general  are  dissatisfied  with  the  doings  of  the  judges 
or  triers  so  to  be  chosen,  they  may  call  a  new  election  in  any 
of  the  said  stations,  and  elect  others  in  their  stead,  having 
due  respect  to  the  number  now  agreed  to  be  elected  at  each 
station,  which  persons  so  to  be  chosen  shall  have  the  same 
power  with  those  in  whose  room  they  shall  or  may  be  chosen 
to  act."' 

Boone's  Trail.  The  North  Carolina  Society  of  the  Daugh- 
ters of  the  American  Revolution  marked  Boone's  trail  in  North 
Carolina  by  planting  iron  tablets  bolted  to  large  boulders  at 
Cook's  Gap,  Three  Forks'  Church,  Boone  Village,  Hodge's 
Gap,  Graveyard  or  Straddle  Gap,  and  at  Zionville,  in  October, 
1913.  Addresses  were  made  at  Boone  courthouse  October  23, 
1913,  by  Mrs.  W.  N.  Reynolds,  State  Regent,  Mrs.  Lindsay 
Patterson,  chairman  of  committee  on  Boone's  trail,  and  Mrs. 
Theo.  S.  Morrison,  Regent  of  Edward  Buncombe  Chapter. 

Record  Evidence  of  the  Residence  of  the  Boones. 
Jonathan  Boone  sold  to  John  Hardin  (Deed  Book  No.  5,  p. 
509,  Ashe  county)  245  acres  on  the  15th  of  September,  1821, 
for  $600 — on  the  North  side  of  New  river  and  on  both  sides 
of  Lynches'  Mill  creek,  adjoining  Jesse  Councill's  line,  and 
running  to  Shearer's  Knob.  This  was  near  the  town  of  Boone. 
The  John  Hardin  mentioned  above  was  the  father  of  John  and 
Joseph  Hardin  of  Boone,  and  his  wife  was  Lottie,  the  daugh- 
ter of  Jordan  Councill,  Sr.,  and  the  daughter  of  Benjamin 
Howard.     On  the  7th  of  November,  1814,  Jesse  Boone  entered 


DANIEL  BOONE  95 


100  acres  on  the  head  waters  of  Watauga  river,  beginning  on  a 
maple,  Jesse  Coffey's  corner,  and  obtained  a  grant  therefor 
on  the  29th  of  November,  1817.  (Deed  Book  "F,"  Ashe 
county,  p.  170.) 

NOTES. 

irThwaites'  "Daniel  Boone,"  pp.  22,  69. 

=Ibid.,  23. 

3Ibid.,  73. 

«Ibid.,  p.  66. 

6Statement  of  James  M.  Isbell  to  J.  P.  A.  in  May,  1909,  at  latter's  home. 

6It  "could  still  be  seen,  a  few  years  ago,  at  the  foot  of  a  range  of  hills  some  seven  and 
a  half  miles  above  Wilkesboro,  in  Wilkes  county."    Thwaites'  "Daniel  Boone,"  p.  68. 

'That  inscription  is  not  legible  now.  The  picture  of  it  opposite  page  56  of  Thwaites' 
"Daniel  Boone"  shows  that.  If  it  had  been  made  in  1760  it  would  not  have  been  legible 
in  1856  when  Captain  W.  T.  Pritchett  of  Jonesboro,  Tennessee,  was  a  boy,  as  he  stated  was 
the  case  in  June,  1909,  to  J.  P.  A. 

•Some  think  Boone  went  down  Brushy  Fork  to  Dr.  Phillips's  present  home  on  Cove 
creek  and  crossed  Phillips'  gap  to  Beaver  Dams  and  thence  by  Baker's  gap  to  Roan's 
creek.  This,  however,  would  not  have  brought  him  to  Shoun's  Cross  Roads,  below  which 
about  three-fourths  of  a  mile  he  is  said  to  have  made  a  camp  on  the  old  Wagner  farm, 
now  owned  by  Wiley  Jenkins. 

9Dr.  Jordan  B.  Phillips  has  always  heard  that  George's  gap  is  so  called  from  George 
Finley  who  so  often  hunted  with  Boone. 

1  "Holland  Hodges  says  Dog  Skin  creek  is  so  called  because  settlers  on  it  used  to  kill 
all  stray  dogs  to  get  their  skins  for  tanning. 

"Thwaites,  25. 

12Martin's  North  Carolina,  Vol.  II,  p.  339,  cited  in  Fifth  Annual  Report  of  the  Bureau 
of  Ethnology,  1883-84,  p.  149. 

1 'Ramsey's  Annals  of  Tennessee,  p.  204,  cited  in  Fifth  Annual  Report  of  the  Bureau  of 
Ethnology,  1883-84,  p.  149. 

"Fifth  Annual  Report  of  the  Bureau  of  Ethnology,  1883-S4,  p.  153. 

15Thwaites'  "Life  of  Boone,  "p.  21. 

16The  only  evidence  of  that  is  the  inscription  on  the  beech  tree  nine  miles  north  ol 
Jonesboro,  Tennessee,  about  killing  a  bear  on  that  tree  in  1760. 

1 'Thwaites,  pp.  1,  2,  25,  43. 

"Thwaites'  "Daniel  Boone,"  p.  117. 

"Ibid.,  p.  1356. 

"Ibid.,  p.  143. 

"Ibid.,  p.  158. 

"Ibid.,  p.  165-7. 

""Footprints  on  the  Sands  of  Time,"  bv  Dr.  A.  B.  Cox,  p.  106. 

"Statement  of  T.  C.  Bowie,  Esq.,  to  J.  P.  A.,  in  September,  1912. 

25"Life  and  Times  of  Richard  Henderson,"  Charlotte  Observer,  April  6,  1913. 

2»Ibid.,  May  11,  1913. 

"Ibid. 

"Ibid. 

"Ibid.  " 

3  "Ibid. 

"Ibid. 

aslbid. 

33Ibid.,  June  1. 

"Ibid. 


CHAPTER  V 

REVOLUTIONARY   DAYS 

Our  Part  in  the  Revolution.  1  In  the  summer  of  1880 
"the  British  were  making  a  supreme  effort  to  dismember  the 
colonies  by  the  conquest  of  the  Southern  States."  "They 
thought,"  says  Holmes,  "that  important  advantages  might  be 
expected  from  shifting  the  war  to  the  rich  Southern  colonies, 
which  chiefly  upheld  the  financial  credit  of  the  Confederacy 
in  Europe,  and  through  which  the  Americans  received  most 
of  their  military  and  other  supplies."  "The  militiaman  of 
Western  North  Carolina  was  unique  in  his  way.  Regarded 
by  his  government,  in  the  words  of  Governor  Graham,  as  'a 
self-supporting  institution,'  he  went  forth  to  service  gener- 
ally without  thought  of  drawing  uniform,  rations,  arms  or 
pay.  A  piece  of  white  paper  pinned  to  his  hunting  cap  was 
his  uniform;  a  wallet  of  parched  flour  or  a  sack  of  meal  was 
his  commissariat;  a  tin-cup,  a  frying-pan  and  a  pair  of  sad- 
dle-bags, his  only  impedimenta;  his  domestic  rifle — a  Deckard 
or  a  Kutter — and  sometimes  a  sword,  made  in  his  own  black- 
smith shop,  constituted  his  martial  weapons;  a  horse  capable  of 
'long  subsisting  on  nature's  bounty'  was  his  means  of  rapid 
mobilization  or  'hasty  change  of  base';  a  sense  of  manly  duty 
performed,  his  quarter's  pay.  Indeed,  his  sense  of  propriety 
would  have  been  rudely  shocked  by  any  suggestion  of  reward 
for  serving  his  endangered  country.  .  .  An  expert  rider  and 
an  unerring  shot,  he  was  yet  disdainful  of  the  discipline  that 
must  mechanaze  a  man  into  a  soldier  or  convert  a  mob  into 
an  army  ...  he  was  so  tenacious  of  personal  freedom  as  to 
be  jealous  of  the  authority  of  officers  chosen  by  his  vote." 

The  Mecklenburg  Resolves.  Alamance  was  but  the 
forerunner  of  the  declaration  of  independence  at  Mecklen- 
burg, the  proof  of  which  follows  : 

Hon.  George  Bancroft,  the  historian,  and  at  the  time  Min- 
ister to  England,  wrote  to  David  L.  Swain,  at  Chapel  Hill, 
July  4,  1848,  as  follows  :  "The  first  account  of  the  Resolves 
'by  the  people  in  Charlotte  Town,  Mecklenburg  County,'  was 

(96) 


tflvUd- 


(From  a  daguerreotype  taken  when  he  was  in  his  94th  year.) 


REVOLUTIONARY  DAYS  97 

sent  over  by  Sir  James  Wright,  then  Governor  of  Georgia,  in 
a  letter  of  the  20th  of  June,  1775.  The  newspaper  thus  trans- 
mitted is  still  preserved,  and  is  in  number  498  of  the  South 
Carolina  Gazette  and  Country  Journal. l  Tuesday,  June  13, 
1775.  I  read  the  Resolves,  you  may  be  sure,  with  reverence, 
and  immediately  obtained  a  copy  of  them,  thinking  myself 
the  sole  discoverer.  I  do  not  send  you  the  copy,  as  it  is  iden- 
tically the  same  with  the  paper  you  enclosed  to  me,  but  I  for- 
ward to  you  a  transcript  of  the  entire  letter  of  Sir  James 
Wright.  The  newspapers  seem  to  have  reached  him  after  he 
had  finished  his  dispatch,  for  the  paragraph  relating  to  it  is 
added  in  his  own  handwriting,  the  former  part  being  written 
by  a  secretary.  ...  It  is  a  mistake  if  any  have  supposed 
that  the  Regulators  were  cowed  down  by  their  defeat  at  Ala- 
mance. " 

The  Men  of  Ashe  and  Buncombe.  As  many  of  those 
who  had  taken  part  in  the  Mecklenburg  Resolves  bore  their 
part  in  the  Revolutionary  War  which  followed,  and  then 
moved  into  Ashe  and  Buncombe  counties,  west  of  the  Blue 
Ridge,  the  interest  of  their  descendants  in  the  reality  of  that 
heroic  step  is  intense.  As,  also,  many  of  these  men  were  with 
Sevier  and  McDowell  in  the  expedition  to  and  battle  of 
Kings  Mountain,  the  following  account  of  their  experiences 
through  the  mountains  of  Western  North  Carolina  and  of 
the  landmarks  which  still  mark  their  old  trails  must  be  of 
equal  importance. 

Western  North  Carolinians  Won  the  Revolutionary 
War.  3  After  the  battle  of  Alamance,  the  defiance  declared 
at  public  meetings,  the  declaration  of  independence  at  Meck- 
lenburg and  at  Halifax;  after  Gates'  defeat  at  Camden,  Au- 
gust 16,  1780,  and  Sumter's  rout  at  Fishing  creek,  Corn- 
wallis  started  northward  to  complete  the  conquest  of  Vir- 
ginia and  North  Carolina.  "At  this  dark  crisis  the  Western 
North  Carolinians  conceived  and  organized  and,  with  the  aid 
which  they  sought  and  received  from  Virginia  and  the  Wa- 
tauga settlement  [the  latter  being  then  a  part  of  North  Caro- 
lina] now  in  Tennessee,  carried  to  glorious  success  at  Kings 
Mountain  on  October  7,  1780,  an  expedition  which  thwarted 
all  the  plans  of  the  British  commander,  and  restored  the 
almost  lost  cause  of  the  Americans  and  rendered  possible 
its  final  triumph  at  Yorktown  on  October   19,   1781.     This 

w.  n.c. — 7 


98         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

expedition  was  without  reward  or  the  hope  of  reward,  under- 
taken and  executed  by  private  individuals,  at  their  own 
instance,  who  furnished  their  own  arms,  conveyances  and 
supplies,  bore  their  own  expenses,  achieved  the  victory,  and 
then  quietly  retired  to  their  homes,  leaving  the  benefit  of 
their  work  to  all  Americans,  and  the  United  States  their 
debtors  for  independence." 

Vance,  McDowell  and  Henry.  "The  white  occupation 
of  North  Carolina  had  extended  only  to  the  Blue  Ridge  when 
the  Revolution  began";  but  at  its  close  General  Charles 
McDowell,  Col.  David  Vance  and  Private  Robert  Henry  were 
among  the  first  to  cross  the  Blue  Ridge  and  settle  in  the  new 
county  of  Buncombe. 4  As  a  reward  for  their  services,  no 
doubt,  they  were  appointed  to  run  and  mark  the  line  between 
North  Carolina  and  Temiessee  in  1799,  McDowell  and  Vance 
as  commissioners  and  Henry  as  surveyor.  While  on  this  work 
they  wrote  and  left  in  the  care  of  Robert  Henry  their  narra- 
tives of  the  battle  of  Kings  Mountain  and  the  fight  at  Cowan's 
ford.  After  his  death  Robert  Henry's  son,  William  L.  Henry, 
furnished  the  manuscript  to  the  late  Dr.  J.  F.  E.  Hardy,  and 
he  sent  it  to  Dr.  Lyman  C.  Draper,  of  Wisconsin.  On  it  is 
largely  based  his  "King's  Mountain  and  its  Heroes"  (1880). 

David  Vance.  He  was  the  grandfather  of  Governor  and 
General  Vance;  "came  south  with  a  great  tide  of  Scotch-Irish 
emigration  which  flowed  into  the  Piedmont  country  from 
the  middle  colonies  between  1744  and  1752,  and  made  his 
home  on  the  Catawba  river,  in  what  is  now  Burke,  and  was 
then  Rowan  county,  where  he  married  Miss  Brank  about 
1775;  and  here,  pursuing  his  vocation  as  a  surveyor  and  teacher, 
the  beginning  of  the  Revolutionary  war  found  him.  He  was 
one  of  the  first  in  North  Carolina  to  take  up  arms  in  support 
of  the  colonies,  and  in  June,  1776,  was  appointed  ensign  in 
the  second  North  Carolina  regiment  of  Regular  Continental 
troops,  and  shortly  thereafter  was  promoted  to  a  lieuten- 
ancy, and  served  with  his  regiment  until  May  or  June,  1778, 
"when  the  remnant  of  that  regiment  was  consolidated  with 
other  North  Carolina  troops.  He  served  at  Brandywine, 
Germantown,  Monmouth,  and  was  with  Washington  at  Val- 
ley Forge  through  the  terrible  winter  of  1777-78.  In  command 
of  a  company  he  fought  at  Ramseur's  Mill,  Cowpens,  and 
King's  Mountain  in  1780-81.     His  son  David  was  the  father 


REVOLUTIONARY  DAYS  99 

of  Zebulon  and  Robert  B.  Vance,  the  United  States  senator 
and  Confederate  general  respectively,  was  a  prominent  and 
influential  citizen  of  his  time,  and  a  captain  in  the  War  of 
1812,  which,  however,  terminated  before  his  regiment  reached 
the  theater  of  war. 

Captain  William  Moore.  He  was  from  Ulster  county, 
Ireland,  and  was  the  first  white  man  to  settle  west  of  the 
Blue  Ridge  in  Buncombe.  He  was  with  his  brother-in-law, 
Griffith  Rutherford  when  that  officer  came  through  Buncombe 
in  1776  on  his  way  to  punish  the  Cherokees,  and  was  struck 
with  the  beauty  and  fertility  of  the  spot  on  which  he  after- 
wards settled,  six  and  a  half  miles  west  of  Asheville,  the  pres- 
ent residence,  remodeled  and  enlarged,  of  Dr.  David  M. 
Gudger.  He  was  a  captain  of  one  of  Rutherford's  com- 
panies. He  returned  in  1777  and  built  a  fort  on  the  site 
above  referred  to,  obtaining  a  grant  for  640  acres  from  Gov- 
ernor Caswell  soon  afterwards,  for  "land  on  Hominy  creek, 
Burke  county."  But  he  had  to  leave  his  new  home  for  the 
Revolutionary  War,  in  which  he  served  gallantly,  returning 
at  its  close  with  his  own  family — his  wife  being  Gen.  Ruth- 
erford's sister — and  five  others.  He  had  three  sons,  William, 
Samuel,  and  Charles,  and  three  daughters,  all  of  whom  mar- 
ried Penlands,  brothers.  William  and  Samuel  moved  to 
Georgia,  and  Charles,  the  youngest,  fell  heir  to  the  home 
place.  Of  him  Col.  Allen  T.  Davidson  says  in  The  Lyceum  for 
April,  1891,  page  24,  that  he  had  been  born  in  a  fort  on  Hom- 
iny creek  "and  was  one  of  the  most  honorable,  hospitable, 
open-hearted  men  it  was  my  good  fortune  to  know,  whom 
I  was  taught  by  my  parents  to  revere  and  respect;  and  I  can 
now  say  I  never  found  in  him  anything  to  lessen  the  high  es- 
timate placed  upon  him  by  them." 

Mountain  Tories.  There  was  a  man  named  Mills  men- 
tioned in  "The  Heart  of  the  Alleghanies"  as  living  in  Hen- 
derson county  during  the  Revolutionary  War;  local  tradi- 
tion says  there  was  a  Tory  named  Hicks  who  at  some  time 
during  the  Revolutionary  War  built  himself  a  pole  cabin  on 
what  is  now  the  Meadow  Farm  near  Banners  Elk;  but  which 
was  for  years  known  as  Hick's  Improvement.  Benjamin  How- 
ard built  what  is  known  as  the  Boone  cabin  for  the  accommo- 
dation of  himself  and  his  herders  when  they  were  looking  after 
the  cattle  grazing  on  the  mountains  near  what  is  now  the 

6 


100        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

town  of  Boone.  Howard's  Knob,  where  he  is  said  to  have 
had  a  cave,  and  Howard's  creek  are  named  for  him.  His 
daughter  Sarah  married  Jordan  Council,  Sr.,  a  prominent 
citizen,  and  they  lived  near  the  oak  tree  that  has  buck-horns 
embedded  in  its  trunk,  near  Boone  village.  There  is  also  here, 
at  the  spring,  a  large  sycamore  tree  which  grew  from  a  switch 
stuck  in  the  moist  soil  by  Jesse  Council,  eldest  son  of  Jordan 
Council,  about  one  hundred  years  ago.  Howard  was  a  Tory. 
Some  of  the  Norris  family  are  said  to  have  been  Tories  also; 
and  two  men,  named  White  and  Asher,  were  killed  by  the 
Whigs  near  Shull's  Mills  during  the  Revolutionary  War. 5 
There  were,  doubtless,  other  Tories  hidden  in  these  mountains 
during  those  troublous  times.  Daniel  Boone  himself  was  not 
above  suspicion,  and  escaped  conviction  under  charges  of  dis- 
loyalty at  Boonesborough,  Ky.,  by  pleading  that  his  acts  of 
apparent  disloyalty  were  due  to  the  fact  that  he  had  been 
"playing  the  Indians  in  order  to  gain  time  for  getting  rein- 
forcements to  come  up."  6 

The  Norris  Family.  William  Norris  settled  on  Meat 
Camp,  and  his  brother  Jonathan  on  New  river,  about  1803, 
probably,  as  William  was  less  than  ninety  when  he  died  in  1873. 

Thomas  Hodges  came  to  Hodges'  gap  one,  and  a  half  miles 
west  of  what  is  now  Boone,  during  the  Revolutionary  War. 
He  came  from  Virginia,  and  brought  his  family  with  him.  He 
was  a  Tory  and  was  seeking  to  keep  out  of  taking  up  arms 
against  Great  Britain  when  he  came  to  his  new  home.  There 
was  a  Norris  in  this  section  who  was  also  a  Tory.  Thomas 
Hodges'  son  Gilbert  married  a  daughter  of  Robert  Shearer  who 
lived  on  New  River,  three  miles  from  Boone,  and  died  there 
about  1845.  Robert  Shearer  was  a  Scotchman  who  had  fought 
in  the  American  army.  In  1787  Gilbert  was  born,  and  lived  at 
the  place  of  his  birth  in  Hodges'  gap  till  his  death  in  December, 
1862.  Hollard  Hodges,  a  son  of  Gilbert,  was  born  there 
July  18,  1827,  and  is  still  there.  He  still  remembers  that 
about  1856  he  and  Jordan  McGhee  in  one  day  killed  432 
rattlesnakes  on  a  rocky  and  cliffy  place  on  the  Rich  mountain 
about  three  miles  from  Boone;  and  that  he  has  always  heard 
that  Ben.  Howard  had  entered  all  the  land  about  Hodges  gap. 
His  wife  was  born  Elizabeth  Councill,  and  is  a  grand-doughter 
of  Jordan  Councill,  Sr.,  whose  wife  was  Sallie,  daughter  of 
Ben.  Howard. 


REVOLUTIONARY  DAYS  101 

Henderson  County  Heroes.  In  her  history  of  Hender- 
son county,  written  for  this  work,  Mrs.  Mattie  S.  Candler 
says,  "here  are  unquestionably  numbers  of  quiet  sleepers 
in  the  little  old  and  neglected  burying  grounds  all  over  the 
county  who  followed  Shelby  and  Sevier  at  Kings  Mountain," 
and  mentions  the  grandfather  of  Misses  Ella  and  Lela  McLean 
and  Mrs.  Hattie  Scott  as  having  fought  against  his  immediate 
relatives  in  the  British  army  on  that  occasion,  receiving  a  se- 
vere wound  there.  Elijah  Williamson  is  said  to  have  lived 
in  Henderson  county  on  land  now  owned  by  Preston  Patton, 
his  great  grandson.  Williamson  was  born  in  Virginia,  moved 
to  Ninety-Six,  S.  C,  and  afterwards  settled  on  the  Patton  farm, 
where  he  planted  five  sycamore  trees,  naming  each  for  one 
of  his  daughters.  They  still  stand.  Samuel  Fletcher,  ances- 
tor of  Dr.  G.  E.  Fletcher  and  of  Mrs.  Wm.  R.  Kirk  and  Miss 
Estelle  Edgerton  of  Hendersonville,  owned  an  immense  tract 
adjoining  the  Patton  farm,  to  which  it  is  supposed  he  came 
about  the  time  that  Elijah  Williamson  did. 

Descendants  of  Revolutionary  Heroes.  Representatives 
of  several  Revolutionary  soldiers  reside  in  these  mountains, 
among  whom  are  the  Alexanders,  Davidsons,  Fosters, 
McDowells,  Coffeys,  Bryans,  Penlands,  Wisemans,  Aliens, 
Welches,  and  scores  of  others,  who  fought  in  North  Caro- 
lina. Others  are  descendants  of  Nathan  Horton,  who  was  a 
member  of  the  guard  at  the  execution  of  Major  Andre,  when 
he  carried  a  shot-gun  loaded  with  one  ball  and  three  buck- 
shot. J.  B.  Horton,  a  direct  descendant,  has  the  gun  now. 
J.  C.  Horton,  who  lives  on  the  South  Fork  of  the  New  River, 
near  Boone,  has  a  grandfather's  clock  which  his  ancestor, 
Nathan  Horton,  brought  with  him  from  New  Jersey  over  one 
hundred  years  ago.  The  late  Superior  Court  Judge,  L.  L. 
Greene  of  Boone,  and  the  Greenes  of  Watauga  generally,  trace 
their  descent  directly  from  General  Nathanael  Greene,  who 
conducted  the  most  masterly  retreat  of  the  Revolutionary 
War,  when  he  slowly  retired  before  Cornwallis  from  Camden 
to  Yorktown,  and  won  the  applause  of  even  the  British.7 

The  Old  Field.  Where  Gap  creek  empties  into  the  South 
Fork  of  New  River  is  a  rich  meadow  on  which,  according  to 
tradition,  there  has  never  been  any  trees.  It  has  been  called 
the  "old  field"  time  out  of  mind.  It  was  here  that  Col. 
Cleveland  was  captured  by  a  notorious  Tory  named  Riddle 


102        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

and  his  followers  during  the  Revolutionary  War. 8  The  apple 
tree  under  which  it  is  said  he  was  seated  when  surprised  and 
captured  is  still  standing  in  the  yard  of  the  old  Luther  Per- 
kins home, 9  now  occupied  by  a  son  of  Nathan  Waugh.  The 
tree  is  said  to  be  180  years  old.  It  is  three  feet  in  diam- 
eter six  feet  from  the  ground,  and  still  bears  fruit.  It  is 
said  that  Mrs.  Perkins  sent  her  daughter  to  notify  Ben  Greer 
And  Joseph  Calloway  of  Cleveland's  capture  and  that  they 
followed  him  by  means  of  twigs  dropped  in  the  river  as  he 
was  led  up  stream,  having  joined  the  party  of  Captain  Cleve- 
land, who  had  gone  in  pursuit.  Greer  lived  four  miles  above 
Old  Field  and  Calloway  two  miles  below.  It  is  said  that 
Greer  shot  one  of  the  captors  at  Riddle's  knob,  to  which 
point  Cleveland  had  been  taken,  and  that  the  rest  fled,  Cleve- 
land himself  dropping  behind  the  log  on  which  he  had  been 
seated  while  slowly  writing  passes  for  his  captors.  It  is  also 
claimed  that  Ben.  Greer  fired  the  shot  which  killed  Col.  Fer- 
guson at  Kings  Mountain.  1  "Roosevelt  says  Ferguson  was 
pierced  by  half  a  dozen  bullets.     (Vol.  iii,  170). 

The  Wolf's  Den.  Riddle's  knob  is  ten  miles  north  of 
Boone,  and  is  even  yet  a  "wild  and  secluded  spot,  being  very 
near  the  noted  Elk  Knob,  the  place  where  this  noted  Tory 
had  his  headquarters.  It  is  known  as  the  "Wolf's  Den,"  and 
is  the  place  where  the  early  settlers  caught  many  young 
wolves."  About  1857  Micajah  Tugman  found  Riddle's 
knife  in  the  crevices  of  the  Wolf's  Den.  It  was  of  peculiar 
design,  the  "jaws"  being  six  inches  long,  and  the  handle  was 
curved. x  * 

Benjamin  Cleveland.  This  brave  man  was  born  in  Vir- 
ginia May  26,  1738.  When  thirty-one  years  of  age  he  came 
to  North  Carolina  to  live,  settling  in  Wilkes  county.  In  1776 
he  became  a  Whig.  He  was  himself  somewhat  cruel,  as  it  is 
related  of  him  that  "some  time  after  this  (his  capture  at  Old 
Field)  this  same  Riddle  and  his  son,  and  another  was  taken, 
and  brought  before  Cleveland,  and  he  hung  all  three  of  them 
near  the  Mulberry  Meeting  House,  now  Wilkesborough."  12 
Cleveland  weighed  over  three  hundred  pounds,  and  his  men 
called  him  "Old  Roundabout,"  and  themselves  "Cleveland's 
Bull  Dogs."  The  Tories,  however,  called  them  "Cleveland's 
Devils."  He  was  a  captain  in  Rutherford's  expedition  across 
the  mountains  to  punish  the  Cherokees  in  1776,  for  which 


REVOLUTIONARY  DAYS  103 

service  he  was  made  a  colonel,  and  as  such  rendered  great 
service  in  suppressing  Tory  bands  on  the  frontier.  He  raised 
a  regiment  of  four  hundred  men  in  Surry  and  Wilkes  counties 
and  with  them  took  part  in  Kings  Mountain  fight.  Before 
he  died  he  weighed  over  450  pounds,  but  was  cheerful  and 
witty  to  the  end,  which  came  in  October,  1806. *  3 

Dr.  Draper's  Account.  In  his  "Kings  Mountain  and  Its 
Heroes,"  Dr.  Draper  tells  us  (Ch.  19,  p.  437,  et  seq.)  that  the 
Old  Fields  belonged  to  Colonel  Cleveland,  and  served,  in 
peaceful  times,  as  a  grazing  region  for  his  stock,  and  there 
his  tenant,  Jesse  Duncan,  resided.  On  Saturday,  April  14, 
1881,  accompanied  only  by  a  negro  servant,  Cleveland  rode 
from  his  "Round  About"  plantation  on  the  Yadkin  to  the 
Old  Fields,  where  he  spent  the  night.  Captain  William 
Riddle,  a  son  of  Col.  James  Riddle  of  Surry  county,  both  of 
whom  were  Royalists,  was  at  that  time  approaching  Old 
Field  from  Virginia,  with  Captain  Ross,  a  Whig  captive,  and 
his  servant,  enroute  to  Ninety  Six,  in  South  Carolina.  Cap- 
tain Riddle's  party  of  six  or  eight  men,  reached  the  home  of 
Benjamin  Cutbirth,  some  four  miles  above  Old  Field,  on  the 
afternoon  of  the  day  that  Cleveland  arrived  at  Jesse  Dun- 
can's, and  abused  Cutbirth,  who  was  a  Whig  and  suffering 
from  wounds  he  had  but  recently  sustained  in  the  American 
cause.  Riddle,  however,  soon  left  Cutbirth's  and  went  on  to 
the  upper  end  of  Old  Fields,  where  Joseph  and  Timothy 
Perkins  resided,  about  one  mile  above  Duncan's.  Both  these 
men  were  absent  in  Tory  service  at  the  time;  but  Riddle 
learned  from  their  women  that  Cleveland  was  at  Duncan's 
"with  only  his  servant,  Duncan  and  one  or  two  of  the  Callo- 
way family."  Riddle,  however,  was  afraid  to  attack  Cleve- 
land openly,  and  determined  to  lure  him  into  an  ambush 
the  next  morning.  Accordingly,  that  night,  he  had  Cleve- 
land's horses  secretly  taken  from  Duncan's  to  a  laurel  thicket 
"just  above  the  Perkins  house,"  where  they  were  tied  and 
left.  But,  it  so  happened,  that  on  that  very  Saturday,  Rich- 
ard Calloway  and  his  brother-in-law,  John  Shirley,  went  down 
from  the  neighboring  residence  of  Thomas  Calloway,  to  see 
Col.  Cleveland,  where  they  remained  over  night.  On  the 
following  (Sunday)  morning,  discovering  that  his  horses  were 
missing,  Cleveland  and  Duncan,  each  with  a  pistol,  and  Cal- 
loway and  Shirley,  unarmed,  went  in  pursuit,  following  the 


104        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

tracks  of  the  stolen  horses,  just  as  Riddle  had  planned. 
"Reaching  the  Perkins  place,  one  of  the  Perkins  women, 
knowing  of  the  ambuscade,  secretly  desired  to  save  the  Colo- 
nel from  his  impending  fate,  and  detained  him  as  long  as  she 
could,  while  his  three  companions  went  on,  Cleveland  follow- 
ing some  little  distance  behind."  She  also  followed,  retard- 
ing Cleveland  by  enquiries,  until  his  companions  had  crossed 
the  fence  that  adjoined  the  thicket,  where  they  were  fired 
upon  by  Riddle's  men  from  their  places  of  concealment. 
Calloway's  thigh  was  broken  by  the  shot  of  Zachariah  Wells, 
but  Duncan  and  Shirley  escaped.  Cleveland  "dodged  into 
the  house  with  several  Tories  at  his  heels."  There  he  sur- 
rendered on  condition  that  they  would  spare  his  life;  but 
when  Wells  arrived  he  swore  that  he  would  kill  Cleveland 
•then  and  there,  and  would  have  done  so  had  not  the  latter 
"seized  Abigal  Wallers  and  kept  her  between  him  and  his 
would-be  assassin."  Riddle,  however,  soon  came  upon  the 
scene  and  ordered  Wells  to  desist;  after  which,  "the  whole 
party  with  their  prisoner  and  his  servant  were  speedily 
mounted  and  hurried  up  New  river,"  traveling  "mostly  in 
its  bed  to  avoid  being  tracked,  in  case  of  pursuit."  Two 
boys,  of  fourteen  and  fifteen,  "Daniel  Cutbirth  and  a  youth 
named  Walters,"  had  resolved  to  waylay  Riddle  on  his  return 
to  Benjamin  Cutbirth's,  and  rescue  whatever  prisoners  he 
might  have  with  him;  but  they  were  deterred  from  their  pur- 
pose by  the  size  and  noise  of  Riddle's  party  as  they  passed 
their  place  of  concealment  that  Sunday  morning.  Riddle's 
party  got  dinner  at  Benjamin  Cutbirth's  where  one  of  Cut- 
birth's  daughters  was  abused  and  kicked  by  Riddle  because 
of  her  reluctance  in  serving  Riddle's  party.  After  dinner 
Riddle's  party  proceeded  up  the  bed  of  New  river  to  the 
mouth  of  Elk  creek,  where  the  new  and  promising  town  of 
Todd  now  flourishes  at  the  terminus  of  a  new  railroad  now 
building  from  Konarok,  Va.,  Cleveland  meanwhile  breaking 
off  overhanging  twigs  and  dropping  them  in  the  stream  as  a 
guide  to  his  friends  who,  he  knew,  would  soon  follow  in  pur- 
suit. "From  the  head  of  the  south  fork  of  Elk,  they  as- 
cended up  the  mountains  in  what  has  since  been  known  as 
Riddle's  Knob,  in  what  is  now  Watauga  county,  and  some 
fourteen  miles  from  the  place  of  Cleveland's  captivity," 
where   they    camped   for   the   night.     Meantime,    early   that 


REVOLUTIONARY  DAYS  105 

Sabbath  morning,  Joseph  Calloway  and  his  brother-in-law, 
Berry  Toney,  had  called  at  Duncan's,  and  hearing  firing  in 
the  direction  of  Perkins's  home,  hastened  there;  but,  meeting 
Duncan  and  Shirley  in  rapid  flight,  they  learned  from  them 
that  Richard  Calloway  had  been  left  behind  for  dead  and 
that  Cleveland  was  either  dead  or  captured.  Duncan,  Shir- 
ley and  Toney  then  went  to  notify  the  people  of  the  scattered 
settlements  to  meet  that  afternoon  at  the  Old  Fields,  while 
Joseph  Calloway  rode  to  Captain  Robert  Cleveland's  place 
on  Lewis  Fork  of  the  Yadkin  river,  a  dozen  miles  distant. 
His  brother,  William  Calloway,  started  forthwith  up  New 
river  and  soon  came  across  Benjamin  Greer  and  Samuel 
McQueen,  who  readily  joined  them,  and  together  they  fol- 
lowed Riddle's  trail  till  night  overtook  them  ten  miles  above 
the  Old  Fields,  where  Calloway  and  McQueen  remained, 
while  Greer  returned  to  pilot  whatever  men  might  have 
gathered  to  engage  in  the  pursuit  of  the  Tories.  Greer 
soon  met  Robert  Cleveland  and  twenty  others  at  the  Old 
Fields,  and  all  started  at  once,  reaching  Calloway  and  Mc- 
Queen before  day  Monday  morning.  John  Baker  joined 
Calloway  and  McQueen  to  lead  the  advance  as  spies  or  ad- 
vance guards;  and,  soon  after  sunrise,  the  nine  men  who  were 
in  advance  of  the  others  fired  upon  Riddle's  party,  while 
Cleveland  tumbled  behind  the  log  on  which  he  was  slowly 
writing  passes  for  his  Tory  captors.  But  Wells  alone  was 
shot,  being  hit  as  he  scampered  away  by  William  Calloway, 
and  was  left  as  it  was  supposed  that  he  had  been  mortally 
wounded.  Riddle  and  his  wife  mounted  horses  and  escaped 
with  the  others  of  his  band.  "  Cleveland's  servant,  who  had 
been  a  pack-horse  for  the  Tory  plunderers, "  was  rescued  with 
his  master.  Captain  Ross,  Riddle's  Virginia  prisoner,  was  also 
rescued.  Shortly  after  this  Riddle  captured  on  Kings  creek  at 
night  two  of  Cleveland's  noted  soldiers,  David  and  John  Wither- 
spoon,  who  resided  with  their  parents  on  Kings  creek,  and 
spirited  them  many  miles  away  in  the  mountain  region  on 
Watauga  river.  Here  they  escaped  death  by  taking  the  oath 
of  allegiance  to  the  King  of  England,  and  were  released ;  but  as 
soon  as  they  reached  their  home,  David  hastened  to  notify  Col. 
Ben.  Herndon,  several  miles  down  the  Yadkin,  who  with  a 
party  of  men,  under  the  guidance  of  the  Witherspoon  brothers, 
returned  and  captured  Riddle  and  two  of  his  noted  associates, 


106        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Reeves  and  Gross,  who  were  taken  to  Wilkesboro  and  "executed 
on  the  hill  adjoining  the  village  on  a  stately  oak. 
Mrs.  Riddle,"  who  seems  to  have  accompanied  her  husband  on 
his  wild  and  reckless  marauds,  "was  present  and  witnessed  his 
execution."  Wells  had  been  captured  and  hanged  by  Cleve- 
land a  short  time  before.     (P.  446.) 

David  and  John  Witherspoon.  Of  these  heroes  Dr. 
Draper  says  (p.  461),  "David  was  a  subordinate  officer — per- 
haps a  lieutenent —  in  Cleveland's  regiment  at  Kings  moun- 
tain, and  his  younger  brother  John  was  a  private."  They 
were  of  Scotch  origin,  but  natives  of  New  Jersey.  David  was 
born  in  1758  and  John  in  1760.  They  were  collateral  rela- 
tives of  John  Witherspoon,  president  of  Princeton  college,  and 
a  signer  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence.  Each  afterwards 
represented  Wilkes  in  the  legislature.  David  died  in  May 
1828  while  on  a  visit  to  South  Carolina,  and  John  in  Wayne 
county,  Tenn.,  in  1839.  Captain  William  Harrison  Wither- 
spoon, of  Jefferson,  was  descended  from  John  Witherspoon, 
and  was  born  near  Kings  creek,  January  24,  1841.  He  was 
a  sergeant  major  of  the  1st  N.  C.  Infantry,  was  shot  in  the 
leg  at  Seven  Pines  in  1862,  and  in  the  forehead  at  Spottsyl- 
vania  Court  House,  May  12,  1864,  returning  for  duty  in  less 
than  two  months.  He  surrendered  with  Lee  at  Appomattox, 
after  serving  four  years  and  nine  days  in  the  Confederate 
army.  His  wife  was  born  Clarissa  Pennell  in  Wilkes  county. 
In  the  Spring  of  1865,  while  seven  of  Stonemen's  men — three 
negroes  and  four  white  men — were  trying  to  break  into  her 
father's  stable  near  Wilkesboro,  for  the  purpose  of  stealing 
her  father's  horses  and  mules,  she  warned  them  that  if  they 
persisted  she  would  shoot;  and  as  they  paid  her  no  heed,  she 
did  actually  shoot  and  kill  one  of  the  white  robbers,  and  the 
rest  fled.  Gen.  Stoneman,  when  he  heard  of  her  conduct, 
sent  her  a  guard  and  complimented  her  highly  for  her  courage 
and  determination. 

The  Perkins  Family.  J.  D.  Perkins,  Esq.,  an  attorney  at 
Kendrick,  Va.,  in  a  letter  to  his  brother,  L.  N.  Perkins,  at 
Boone,  N.  C,  of  date  December  1,  1913,  says  that  his  ances- 
tors Joseph  and  Timothy  Perkins  were  tax  gatherers  under 
the  colonial  government  of  Massachusetts  about  the  com- 
mencement of  the  Revolutionary  War,  but  removed  to  Old 
Fields,  Ashe  county  on  account  of  political  persecution.    They 


REVOLUTIONARY  DAYS  107 

remained  loyal  to  the  King  during  the  whole  of  the  Revolu- 
tionary War,  and  Timothy  was  killed  somewhere  in  Ashe  in 
a  Tory  skirmish.  Timothy  left  several  sons  and  one  daugh- 
ter, Lucy,  J.  D.  Perkin's  great  grandmother,  who  married  a 
man  named  Young.  Joseph  also  left  sons  and  daughters.  "I 
have  forgotten  the  names  of  most  of  our  great  grand  uncles," 
wrote  J.  D.  Perkins  in  the  letter  above  mentioned,  "but  I 
remember  to  have  heard  our  mother  tell  about  seeing  'Granny 
Skritch,'  a  sister  to  our  great-great-grandfather,  and  who 
was  very  old  at  that  time,  and  living  with  one  of  her  Perkins 
relatives  up  on  Little  Wilson.  Our  mother  was  then  quite 
small  and  the  old  lady  (Granny  Skritch)  was  very  old  and 
confined  to  her  bed;  but  our  mother  was  impressed  with 
Granny  Skritch's  loyalty,  even  then,  to  King  George,  and  the 
manner  in  which  she  abused  the  Patriot  soldiers  in  her  talk." 

Other  Important  Facts.  Dr.  Draper  says  (p.  435),  "In 
the  summer  of  1780  he  (Cleveland)  was  constantly  employed 
in  surpressing  the  Tories — first  in  marching  against  those  as- 
sembled at  Ramsour's  mill,  reaching  them  shortly  after  their 
defeat;  then  in  chasing  Col.  (Samuel)  Bryan  from  the  State, 
and  finally  in  scouring  the  region  of  New  River  including  the 
Tory  rising  in  that  quarter,  capturing  and  hanging  some  of 
their  notorious  leaders  and  outlaws." 

Cleveland's  Character.  Dr.  Draper  tries  to  temper  the 
facts  of  Benjamin  Cleveland's  career  as  much  as  possible,  but 
that  this  hero  of  the  Revolutionary  War  was  inhumanly  cruel, 
cannot  be  disguised.  His  compelling  a  horse-thief,  socalled — 
for  he  had  not  been  tried — to  cut  off  his  own  ears  with  a 
case  knife  in  order  to  escape  death  by  hanging,  was  inexpres- 
sibly revolting.  (P.  447).  Cleveland  lost  his  "Round  About 
Farm"  "by  a  better  title"  at  the  close  of  the  war,  and  moved 
to  the  "fine  region  of  the  Tugalo  on  the  western  border  of 
South  Carolina"  and  "though  the  Indian  title  was  not  yet 
extinguished,"  he  resolved  to  be  among  the  early  squatters 
of  the  country,  and  "removed  to  his  new  home  in  the  forks 
of  the  Tugalo  river  and  Chauga  creek  in  the  present  county 
of  Oconee"  in  1785.  He  served  many  years  as  a  "judge  of 
the  Court  of  Old  Pendleton  county,  with  General  Pickens  and 
Col.  Robert  Anderson  as  his  associates,  .  .  .  'frequently 
taking  a  snooze  on  the  bench'  says  Governor  B.  F.  Perry, 
while  the  lawyers  were  making  long  and  prosy  speeches."    He 


108        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

was  defeated  for  the  legislature  in  1793  by  seven  votes. 
"He  had  scarcely  any  education,"  and  "was  despotic  in  his 
nature"  declares  Dr.  Draper;  but  "North  Carolina  deservedly 
commemorated  his  services  by  naming  a  county  after  him." 
Here  he  died  and  was  buried;  but  "no  monument — no  inscrip- 
tion— no  memorial  stone — point  out  his  silent  resting  place." 
(P.  453-4.) 

Ashe  a  Battle  Ground.  From  Robert  Love's  pension 
papers  it  appears  that  the  first  battle  in  which  he  took  part 
was  when  he  was  in  command  of  a  party  of  Americans  in 
1880  against  a  party  of  Tories  in  July  of  that  year.  This 
band  of  Tories  was  composed  of  about  one  hundred  and  fifty 
men,  and  they  were  routed  "up  New  River  at  the  Big  Glades, 
now  in  Ashe  county,  North  Carolina,  as  they  were  on  the  way 
to  join  Cornwallis."  "In  the  year  1780  this  declarent  was 
engaged  against  the  Torys  at  a  special  court  first  held  on 
Toms  creek  down  the  New  river,  and  afterwards  upon  Crip- 
ple creek;  then  up  New  river  .  .  .  then,  afterwards  at 
the  Moravian  Old  Town  .  .  .  making  an  examination 
up  to  near  the  Shallow  Ford  of  the  Yadkin  .  .  .  rout- 
ing two  parties  of  Tories  in  Guilford  county,  hanging  one  of 
the  party  who  fell  into  his  hands  up  the  New  River,  and 
another,  afterwards,  whom  they  captured  in  Guilford."  This 
activity  may  explain  the  presence  of  the  mysteriuos  battle 
ground  in  Alleghany  county.  (See  ch.  13,  "A  Forgotten  Bat- 
tlefield.") 

The  Big  Glades.  This  may  be  the  Old  Field,  and  it  is 
most  probable  that  this  is  the  spot  reached  and  lauded  by 
Bishop  Spangenberg  in  1752.  (See  ch.  3,  "In  Goshen's 
Land.") 

But  whether  they  are  identical  with  that  locality  or  not, 
the  following  is  an  account  of  that  well-known  spot: 

Short  Story  of  an  Old  Place.  This  land  was  granted 
to  Luther  Perkins  by  grant  No.  599,  which  is  recorded  in  Ashe 
county  July  28,  1904,  Book  WW,  page  254.  But  the  grant  itself 
is  dated  November  30,  1805,  while  the  land  was  entered  in  May, 
1803.  This  tract  is  the  one  on  which  the  apple  tree  stands 
under  which  Cleveland  is  said  to  have  been  captured;  but  it  is 
probably  not  the  first  tract  nor  the  best,  which  was  conveyed 
by  Charles  McDowell,  a  son  of  Gen.  Charles  McDowell 
of    Revolutionary    fame,   to   Richard   Gentry    for   $1,000    in 


REVOLUTIONARY  DAYS  109 

1854.  There  seems  to  be  several  hundred  acres  in  that  bound- 
ary, beginning  on  a  Spanish  oak  in  the  line  of  Joseph  Perkins's 
Old  Field  Tract,  and  crossing  Gap  creek.  There  is  no  record  in 
Ashe  county,  of  how  Charles  McDowell  got  this  place,  though 
he  probably  inherited  it.  Richard  Gentry  divided  his  property 
into  three  parts,  two  in  land  and  one  in  slaves.  Adolphus 
Russeau,  who  married  one  of  Gentry's  daughters  got  the  land 
now  owned  by  Arthur  Phillips.  Nathan  Waugh  got  the  other 
tract,  while  James  Gentry,  a  son,  took  the  slaves.  It  was  on 
this  tract  that  the  first  100  bushels  of  corn  to  the  acre  of  land 
in  Ashe  county  was  raised  by  Richard  Gentry.  He  was  a  mem- 
ber of  the  family  of  whom  Dr.  Cox  said  in  his  "Foot  Prints," 
(p.  110):  "The  Gentry  family  have  been  distinguished  for 
their  principles  and  patriotic  love  of  constitutional  liberty  and 
justice."  Of  Hon.  Richard  Gentry  himself  he  said  (p.  116): 
"He  married  a  Miss  Harboard  and  his  residence  was  at  Old 
Field.  He  was  a  Baptist  preacher,  justice  of  the  peace  and 
clerk  of  the  Superior  Court  and  a  member  of  both  branches 
of  the  legislature." 

Sword-tilt  Between  Herndon  and  Beverly.  "The 
depredations  of  the  Tories  were  so  frequent,  and  their  conduct 
so  savage,  that  summary  punishment  was  demanded  by  the 
exigencies  of  the  times.  This  Cleveland  inflicted  without 
ceremony.  General  Lenoir  relates  a  circumstance  that  occur- 
red at  Mulberry  Meeting-house.  While  there,  on  some  pub- 
lic occasion,  the  rumor  was  that  mischief  was  going  on  by  the 
Tories.  Lenoir  went  to  his  horse,  tied  at  some  distance  from 
the  house,  and,  as  he  approached,  a  man  ran  off  from  the  oppo- 
site side  of  the  horse.  Lenoir  hailed  him,  but  he  did  not  stop; 
he  pursued  him  and  found  that  he  had  stolen  one  of  the  stir- 
rups of  his  saddle.  He  carried  the  pilferer  to  Colonel  Cleve- 
land, who  ordered  him  to  place  his  two  thumbs  in  a  notch  for 
that  purpose  in  an  arbor  fork,  and  hold  them  there  while  he 
ordered  him  to  receive  fifteen  lashes.  This  was  his  peculiar 
manner  of  inflicting  the  law,  and  gave  origin  to  the  phrase, 
'To  thumb  the  notch.'  The  punishment  on  the  offender 
above  was  well  inflicted  by  Captain  John  Beverly,  whose 
ardor  did  not  stop  at  the  ordered  number.  After  the  fifteen 
had  been  given,  Colonel  Herndon  ordered  him  to  stop,  but 
Beverly  continued  to  whip  the  wincing  culprit.  Colonel 
Herndon  drew  his  sword  and  struck  Beverly.     Captain  Bev- 


110         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

erly  drew  also,  and  they  had  a  tilt  which,  but  for  friends, 
would  have  terminated  fatally."  14 

Shad  Laws'  Oak.  There  is  a  tree  on  the  public  road  in 
Wilkes,  which  to  this  day  bears  the  name  of  "Shad  Laws'  Oak, " 
on  which  the  notches,  thumbed  by  said  Laws  under  the  sen- 
tence of  Cleveland,  are  distinctly  visible. :  5 

Sevier,  the  Harry  Percy  of  the  Revolution.  When 
"General  Charles  McDowell,  finding  his  force  too  weak  to 
stop  Ferguson,"  "crossed  the  mountains  to  the  Watauga 
settlements,  he  found  the  mountaineers  ready  to  unite 
against  the  hated  Ferguson.  .  .  .  These  hardy  men  set 
out  to  search  for  Ferguson  on  September  25  (1780).  They 
were  armed  with  short  Deckard  rifles,  and  were  expert  shots. 
They  knew  the  woods  as  wild  deer  do,  and  from  boyhood 
had  been  trained  in  the  Indian  ways  of  fighting.  They  fur- 
nished their  own  horses  and  carried  bags  of  parched  flour  for 
rations."  16 

According  to  Dr.  Lyman  C.  Draper's  "Kings  Mountain 
and  Its  Heroes,"  page  176,  Sevier  followed  the  Gap  creek  from 
Mathew  Talbot's  Mill,  now  known  as  Clark's  Mill,  three 
miles  from  Sycamore  Shoals,  "to  its  head,  when  they  bore 
somewhat  to  the  left,  crossing  Little  Doe  river,  reaching  the 
noted  'Resting  Place,'  at  the  Shelving  Rock,  about  a  mile 
beyond  the  Crab  Orchard,  where,  after  a  march  of  some  twenty 
miles  that  day,  they  took  up  their  camp  for  the  night.  .  .  . 
Here  a  man  named  Miller  resided,  who  shod  several  of  the 
horses  of  the  party."  The  next  morning,  Wednesday,  the 
twenty-seventh  (of  September,  1880,)  .  .  .  they  reached 
the  base  of  the  Yellow  and  Roan  mountains  and  ascended  the 
mountain  by  following  the  well-known  Bright's  Trace,  through 
a  gap  between  the  Yellow  mountain  on  the  north  and  the 
Roan  mountain  on  the  south.  The  sides  and  top  of  the  moun- 
tain were  "covered  shoe-mouth  deep  with  snow."  On  the 
100  acres  of  "beautiful  table  land"  on  top  they  paraded  and 
discharged  their  short  Deckard  rifles;  "and  such  was  the  rar- 
ity of  the  atmosphere,  that  there  was  little  or  no  report." 
Here  two  of  Sevier's  men  deserted.  They  were  James  Craw- 
ford and  Samuel  Chambers,  and  were  suspected  of  having 
gone  ahead  to  warn  Ferguson  of  Sevier's  approach.  Sevier 
did  not  camp  there,  however,  as  there  was  still  some  hours 
of  daylight  left  after  the  parade  and  refreshments,  but  "passed 


REVOLUTIONARY  DAYS  1 1 1 

on  a  couple  of  miles,  descending  the  eastern  slope  of  the  moun- 
tains into  Elk  Hollow,  a  slight  depression  between  the  Yellow 
and  Roan  mountains,  rather  than  a  gap;  and  here,  at  a  fine 
spring  flowing  into  Roaring  creek,  they  took  up  their  camp 
for  the  night.  Descending  Roaring  creek  on  the  28th  four 
miles  they  reached  its  confluence  with  the  North  Toe  river, 
and  a  mile  below  they  passed  Bright's  place,  now  Avery's;  and 
thence  down  the  Toe  to  the  noted  spring  on  the  Davenport 
place,  since  Tate's,  and  now  known  as  the  Childs  place,  a 
little  distance  west  of  the  stream." 

HAYWOOD    IN    THE   REVOLUTIONARY   WAR. 

"Long  before  white  people  had  come  into  the  mountain  country,  all 
the  land  now  included  in  Haywood  county  was  occupied  by  the  war- 
like Cherokees.  As  the  western  frontier  of  civilization,  however,  ap- 
proached the  Indian  territory,  the  simple  natives  of  the  hills  retired 
farther  and  farther  into  the  fastnesses  of  the  mountains.  While  the 
Regulators  were  resisting  Tryon  at  Alamance  and  the  patriots  under 
Caswell  and  Moore  were  bayonetting  the  Tories  at  Moore's  Creek  Bridge, 
the  Cherokees  of  what  is  now  Haywood  county  were  smoking  their  pipes 
in  peace  under  the  shadows  of  Old  Bald  or  hunting  along  the  banks  of 
the  murmuring  Pigeon  and  its  tributaries. 

"When,  however,  the  tide  of  western  immigration  overflowed  the 
French  Broad  and  began  to  reach  the  foothills  of  the  Balsams  the  Cher- 
okees, ever  friendly  as  a  rule  to  the  white  man,  gave  up  their  lands  and 
removed  to  the  banks  of  the  Tuckaseigee,  thus  surrendering  to  their 
white  brothers  all  the  land  eastward  of  a  line  running  north  and  south 
between  the  present  town  of  Waynesville  and  the  Balsam  range  of  moun- 
tains. Throughout  the  period  of  the  early  settlement  of  Haywood  county 
and  until  the  present  the  most  friendly  relations  have  existed  between 
the  white  people  and  the  Cherokees. 

"Only  one  incident  is  given  by  tradition  which  shows  that  any  hos- 
tile feeling  existed  at  any  time.  It  is  related  that  a  few  Indians  from 
their  settlement  on  the  Tuckaseigee,  before  the  close  of  the  eighteenth 
century,  went  across  the  Smoky  mountains  into  Tennessee  and  stole 
several  horses  from  the  settlers  there.  A  posse  of  white  men  followed 
the  redskins,  who  came  across  the  Pigeon  on  their  way  home,  encamped 
for  the  night  on  Richland  near  the  present  site  of  the  Hardwood  factory 
in  Waynesville.  While  encamped  for  the  night,  their  white  pursuers  came 
up,  fired  into  them,  recaptured  the  horses,  and  began  their  journey  back 
to  Tennessee.  The  Indians,  taken  by  surprise,  scattered,  but  soon  recov- 
ered themselves  and  went  in  pursuit  of  the  white  men.  At  Twelve  Mile 
creek  they  came  upon  the  whites  encamped  for  the  night.  Indian  fashion 
they  made  an  attack,  and  in  the  fight  which  ensued  one  white  man  by  the 
name  of  Fine  was  killed.  The  Indians,  however,  were  driven  off.  Before 
leaving  their  camp  next  morning  the  white  men  took  the  body  of  their 


1 12         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 


dead  comrade,  broke  a  hole  in  the  ice  which  covered  the  creek,  and  put 
him  in  the  ice  cold  water  to  remain  until  they  could  return  for  the  body. 
A  big  snow  was  on  the  ground  at  the  time,  and  it  was  bitter  cold.  From 
this  story  Twelve  Mile  creek  came  to  be  called  Fines  creek. 

"Haywood  county's  citizenship  has  always  been  at  the  front  in  times 
of  war.  From  the  best  information  obtainable  it  is  quite  certain  that 
most  of  the  earliest  settlers  had  been  in  the  Continental  army  and  fought 
through  the  entire  war  of  the  Revolution,  and  later  on  many  of  them  were 
in  the  war  of  1812.  Still  later  a  number  of  these  veterans  of  two  wars 
moved  to  the  great  and  boundless  West,  where  the  hazardous  life  might 
be  spent  in  fighting  savage  tribes  of  Indians. 

"As  best  it  can  be  learned,  only  seven  of  these  grand  old  patriots  died 
and  were  buried  within  the  confines  of  Haywood  county,  to-wit:  at 
Waynesville,  Colonel  William  Allen  and  Colonel  Robert  Love;  at  Canton, 
George  Hall,  James  Abel,  and  John  Messer;  at  upper  Fines  creek,  Hughey 
Rogers;  at  Lower  Fines  creek,  Christian  Messer.  There  were  doubtless 
others,  but  their  names  have  been  lost. 

"All  of  these  old  soldiers  were  ever  ready  to  fight  for  their  homes. 
They  came  in  almost  daily  contact  with  the  Cherokee  Indians,  once  a  great 
and  warlike  tribe  controlling  the  wilderness  from  the  glades  of  Florida  to 
the  Great  Lakes.  While  these  savages  were  friendly  to  the  settlers  it  was 
ever  regarded  as  not  a  remote  possibility  that  they  might  go  upon  the 
warpath  at  any  time.  Hence  our  forefathers  had  them  constantly  to 
watch  while  they  were  subduing  the  land."17 

NOTES. 

iN.  C.  Booklet,  Vol.  I,  No.  7,  p.  3. 

2Dropped  Stitches,  2,  p.  17. 

3Asheville's  Centenary. 

4McDowell  entered  land  and  settled  his  children  near  Brevard. 

'Captain  W.  M.  Hodge's  statement  to  Col.  W.  L.  Bryan  of  Boone,  1912,  in  letter  from 
latter  to  J.  P.  A.,  November  26,  1912. 

6Thwaites,  p.  167. 

'N.  C   Booklet,  Vol.  I,  No.  7. 

8\Vheeler's  History  of  North  Carolina,  p.  444. 

9He  was  probably  related  to  "Gentleman  George"  Perkins  who  had  piloted  Bishop  I. 
Spangenberg's  party  in  1752.     Col.  Rec,  Vol.  V,  pp.  1  to  14. 

10This  tradition  is  also  preserved  in  the  family  of  Prof.  Isaac  G.  Greer,  professor  of 
history  in  the  Appalachian  Training  School,  Boone. 

"From  Col.  W.  L.  Bryan's  "Primitive  History  of  the  Mountain  Region,"  written  in 
1912  for  this  work. 

12Wheeler's  History  of  North  Carolina,  p.  444. 

"N.  C.  Booklet,  Vol.  I,  No.  7,  p.  27. 

14Wheeler's  History  of  North  Carolina,  p.  445. 

15Ibid.,  citing  Mss.  of  General  Wm.  Lenoir. 

i6Hill,  p.  189. 

i 'Allen,  p.  21. 


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CHAPTER  VI 

THE  STATE  OF  FRANKLIN 

The  Act  of  Cession  of  Tennessee.  As  Congress  was 
heavily  in  debt  at  the  close  of  the  Revolutionary  War,  North 
Carolina,  in  1784,  "voted  to  give  Congress  the  twenty-nine 
million  acres  lying  between  the  Alleghany  mountains  and  the 
Mississippi  river."1  This  did  not  please  the  Watauga  set- 
ters, and  a  few  months  later  the  legislature  of  North  Carolina 
withdrew  its  gift,  and  again  took  charge  of  its  western  land 
because  it  feared  the  land  would  not  be  used  to  pay  the  debts 
of  Congress.  These  North  Carolina  law  makers  also  "ordered 
judges  to  hold  court  in  the  western  counties,  arranged  to 
enroll  a  brigade  of  soldiers,  and  appointed  John  Sevier  to 
command  it."  2 

Franklin.  In  August,  1784,  a  convention  met  at  Jones- 
boro  and  formed  a  new  State,  with  a  constitution  providing 
that  lawyers,  doctors  and  preachers  should  never  be  mem- 
bers of  the  legislature;  but  the  people  rejected  it,  and  then 
adopted  the  constitution  of  North  Carolina  in  November, 
1785,  at  Greenville.  They  made  a  few  changes  in  the  North 
Carolina  constitution,  but  called  the  State  Franklin.  John 
Sevier  was  elected  governor  and  David  Campbell  judge  of  the 
Superior  court.  Greenville  was  made  the  capital.  The 
first  legislature  met  in  1785;  Landon  Carter  was  the  Speaker 
of  the  Senate,  and  Thomas  Talbot  clerk.  William  Gage  was 
Speaker  of  the  House,  and  Thomas  Chapman  clerk.  The  Con- 
vention made  treaties  with  the  Indians,  opened  courts, 
organized  new  counties,  and  fixed  taxes  and  officers'  salaries 
to  be  paid  in  money,  corn,  tobacco,  whiskey,  skins,  etc.,  includ- 
ing everything  in  common  use  among  the  people. 3 

Tennessee's  View  of  the  Act  of  Cession.  "The  set- 
tlers lived  and  their  public  affairs  were  conducted  under  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  County  Court  of  Pleas  and  Quarter  Ses- 
sions for  a  period  of  about  six  years,  in  a  quiet  and  orderly 
manner;  but  ever  since  that  May  day  of  1772  when  they 
organized  the  first  "free  and  independent  government," 
their  dream  had  been  of  a  new,  separate  and  independent 

(113)        W.  N.  C. 8 


1 14         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

commonwealth,  and  they  began  to  be  restless,  dissatisfied 
and  disaffected  toward  the  government  of  North  Carolina. 
Many  causes  seemed  to  conspire  to  increase  their  discontent. 
The  first  constitution  of  North  Carolina  had  made  provision 
for  a  future  State  within  her  limits,  on  the  western  side  of 
the  Alleghany  mountains.  The  mother  State  had  persistently 
refused,  on  the  plea  of  poverty,  to  establish  a  Superior  Court 
and  appoint  an  attorney  general  or  prosecuting  officer  for  the 
inhabitants  west  of  the  mountains.  In  1784,  many  claims 
for  compensation  for  military  services,  supplies,  etc.,  in  the 
campaigns  against  the  Indians,  were  presented  to  the  State 
government  from  the  settlements  west  of  the  Alleghanies. 
North  Carolina  was  impoverished;  and,  notwithstanding 
the  fact  that  these  claims  were  just,  reasonable  and  honest, 
it  was  suggested,  and  perhaps  believed,  'that  all  pretenses 
were  laid  hold  of  (by  the  settlers)  to  fabricate  demands  against 
the  government,  and  that  the  industry  and  property  of  those 
who  resided  on  the  east  side  of  the  mountains  were  become 
the  funds  appropriated  to  discharge  the  debts  contracted  by 
those  on  the  west. '  Thus  it  came  about  that,  in  May,  1784, 
North  Carolina,  in  order  to  relieve  herself  of  this  burden, 
ceded  to  the  United  States  her  territory  west  of  the  Alle- 
ghanies, provided  that  Congress  would  accept  it  within  two 
two  years.  At  a  subsequent  session,  an  act  was  passed  re- 
taining jurisdiction  and  sovereignity  over  the  territory  until 
it  should  have  been  accepted  by  Congress.  Immediately 
after  passing  the  act  of  cession,  North  Carolina  closed  the 
land  office  in  the  ceded  territory,  and  nullified  all  entries  of 
land  made  after  May  25,  1784. 

"The  passage  of  the  cession  act  stopped  the  delivery  of  a 
quantity  of  goods  which  North  Carolina  was  under  promise  to 
deliver  to  the  Cherokee  Indians,  as  compensation  for  their 
claim  to  certain  lands.  The  failure  to  deliver  these  goods 
naturally  exasperated  the  Cherokees,  and  caused  them  to 
commit  depredations,  from  which  the  western  settlers  were 
of  course  the  sufferers."     (McGhee's  History  of  Tennessee). 

"At  this  session  the  North  Carolina  Assembly  at  Hillsboro  laid  taxes, 
or  assessed  taxes  and  empowered  Congress  to  collect  them,  and  vested 
in  Congress  power  to  levy  a  duty  on  foreign  merchandise. 

"The  general  opinion  among  the  settlers  west  of  the  Alleghanies  was 
that  the  territory  would  not  be  accepted  by  Congress       .      .  and 


STATE  OF  FRANKLIN  115 

that,  for  a  period  of  two  years,  the  people  in  that  territory,  being  under 
the  protection  neither  of  the  government  of  the  United  States  nor  of 
the  State  of  North  Carolina,  would  neither  receive  any  support  from 
abroad  nor  be  able  to  command  their  own  resources  at  home — for  the 
North  Carolina  act  had  subjected  them  to  the  payment  of  taxes  to  the 
United  States  government.  At  the  same  time,  there  was  no  relaxation 
of  Indian  hostilities.  Under  these  circumstances,  the  great  body  of 
people  west  of  the  Alleghanies  concluded  that  there  was  but  one  thing 
left  for  them  to  do,  and  that  was  to  adopt  a  constitution  and  organize  a 
State  government  of  their  own.     This  they  proceeded  to  do." 

(McGhee's  History  of  Tennessee.) 

Sevier  and  North  Carolina.  In  this  condition  of  affairs 
the  State  of  Franklin  had  been  organized.  The  cession  act 
was  repealed  and  a  judge  sent  to  Tennessee  to  hold  court; 
but  there  were  two  rival  governments  attempting  to  exer- 
cise power  in  the  Watauga  settlement,  and  there  were,  in  con- 
sequence, frequent  clashes,  between  Col.  John  Tipton's  forces, 
representing  North  Carolina,  and  those  of  John  Sevier.  Accord- 
ing to  Roosevelt,  from  whose  history4  the  balance  of  this  ac- 
count has  been  taken,  the  desire  to  separate  from  the  Eastern 
States  was  strong  throughout  the  west  owing  to  the  unchecked 
ravages  of  the  Indians  and  the  refusal  of  the  right  to  the  set- 
tlers to  navigate  the  Mississippi.  The  reason  the  Watauga 
settlers  seized  upon  the  first  pretext  to  separate  from  the 
mother  State  was  because  most  of  them  were  originally  from 
Virginia,  and  in  settling  where  they  did,  supposed  they  were 
still  on  Virginia  soil.  Then,  too,  North  Carolina  had  a  weak 
government,  and  Virginia  was  far  more  accessible  to  the 
pioneers  than  the  Old  North  State.  While  Kentucky  had 
settled  up  after  the  Revolutionary  War  with  "men  who  were 
often  related  by  ties  of  kinship  to  the  leaders  of  the  Virginia 
legislatures  and  conventions,"  the  North  Carolina  settlers 
who  came  to  Watauga  "were  usually  of  the  type  of  those  who 
had  first  built  their  stockaded  hamlets  on  the  bank  of  the 
Watauga,  and  the  first  leaders  of  Watauga  continued  at  the 
head  of  affairs."  Many  of  these,  including  Robertson  and 
Sevier,  had  been  born  in  Virginia,  where  there  was  intense 
State  pride,  and  felt  little  loyalty  to  North  Carolina.  It  is, 
however,  but  just  to  say  that  James  Robertson  had  no  part 
in  this  attempt  to  set  up  a  separate  State  government,  he 
having  already  gone  to  the  French  Licks  where  he  had  estab- 
lished a  government  which  was  as  loyal  to  North  Carolina  as 


116         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

its  remoteness  admitted.  North  Carolina  herself  wished  to 
be  rid  of  the  frontiersmen,  because  it  was  poor  and  felt  the 
burden  of  the  debts  contracted  in  the  Indian  wars  of  the  border. 
Then,  too,  the  jurisdiction  of  the  State  courts  had  not  been 
extended  over  these  four  western  counties,  Davidson,  Wash- 
ington, Sullivan  and  Greene,  although  they  sent  representa- 
tives to  the  State  legislature  at  Hillsborough.  Consequently, 
those  counties  became  a  refuge  for  outlaws,  who  had  to  be 
dealt  with  by  the  settlers  without  the  sanction  of  law.  In 
June  1784  the  legislature  passed  an  act  ceding  all  the  western 
lands  to  the  Continental  Congress,  to  be  void  in  case  Con- 
gress did  not  accept  the  gift  within  two  years;  but  continuing 
its  sovereignty  and  jurisdiction  over  the  ceded  lands.  Even 
the  members  from  these  four  counties  then  in  the  legislature 
of  the  mother  State  voted  for  the  cession.  It  was  a  time  of 
transition  between  the  weakness  of  the  Confederation  and 
the  adoption  of  the  constitution  of  1787;  but  North  Carolina 
did  not  propose  to  allow  this  new  State  to  set  up  for  itself 
without  her  formal  and  free  consent.  It  therefore  set  about 
reducing  the  recalcitrants  to  submission,  and  soon  the  last 
vestige  of  the  Sevier  government  had  become  extinct. 

Colonel  John  Tipton.  Although  this  gentleman  had  at 
first  favored  the  separation,  he  had  opposed  putting  the  act 
of  independence  into  force  till  North  Carolina  could  be  given 
an  opportunity  to  rectify  the  wrongs  complained  of,  and  it 
was  he  who  became  the  leader  in  the  suppression  of  Sevier's 
government.  About  March,  1788,  a  writ  was  issued  by  North 
Carolina  courts  and  executed  against  Sevier's  estate,  the  sher- 
iff seizing  his  negroes,  and  taking  them  to  the  house  of  Col. 
Tipton  on  Sinking  creek  for  safe  keeping  .  .  .  Sevier, 
with  150  men  and  a  light  field-piece,  marched  to  retake  them, 
and  besieged  Tipton  and  from  thirty  to  forty  of  his  men  for 
a  couple  of  days,  during  which  two  or  three  men  were  killed 
or  wounded.  Then  the  county  lieutenant  of  Sullivan  with 
180  militia  came  to  Tipton's  rescue,  surprised  Sevier  at  dawn 
on  the  last  of  February,  1788,  killing  one  or  two  men  and 
taking  two  of  Sevier's  sons  prisoners.  Tipton  was  with  dif- 
ficulty dissuaded  from  hanging  them.  This  scrambling  fight 
marked  the  ignoble  end  of  the  State  of  Franklin.  Sevier  fled 
to  the  uttermost  part  of  the  frontier,  where  no  writs  ran,  and 
the  rough  settlers  were  devoted  to  him.     Here  he  speedily 


STATE  OF  FRANKLIN  117 

became  engaged  in  the  Indian  war,  during  which  some  ma- 
rauding Indians  killed  eleven  women  and  children  of  the  fam- 
ily of  John  Kirk  on  Little  river,  seven  miles  south  of  Knox- 
ville  while  Kirk  and  his  eldest  son  were  absent. 

A  Blot  on  Sevier's  Escutcheon.  Later  on  young  Kirk 
joined  about  forty  men  led  by  Sevier  to  a  small  Cherokee 
town  opposite  Chilhowa.  These  Indians  were  well  known  to 
have  been  friendly  to  the  whites,  and  among  them  was  Old 
Tassel,  or  Corn  Tassel,  "who  for  years  had  been  foremost  in 
the  endeavor  to  keep  the  peace  and  to  prevent  raids  on  the 
settlers.  They  put  out  a  white  flag;  and  the  whites  then 
hoisted  one  themselves.  On  the  strength  of  this,  one  of  the 
Indians  crossed  the  river,  and  on  demand  of  the  whites  fer- 
ried them  over.  Sevier  put  the  Indians  in  a  hut,  and  then  a 
horrible  deed  of  infamy  was  perpetrated.  Among  Sevier's 
troops  was  young  John  Kirk,  whose  mother,  sisters  and  broth- 
ers had  been  so  foully  butchered  by  the  Cherokee,  Slim  Tom 
and  his  associates.  Young  Kirk's  brutal  soul  was  parched 
with  longing  for  revenge,  and  he  was,  both  in  mind  and  heart, 
too  nearly  kin  to  his  Indian  foes  greatly  to  care  whether  his 
vengeance  fell  on  the  wrong-doers  or  on  the  innocent.  He 
entered  the  hut  where  the  Cherokee  chiefs  were  confined,  and 
brained  them  with  his  tomahawk,  while  his  comrades  looked 
on  without  interfering.  Sevier's  friends  asserted  that  he  was 
absent;  but  this  is  no  excuse.  He  knew  well  the  fierce  blood- 
lust  of  his  followers,  and  it  was  criminal  negligence  to  leave 
to  their  mercy  the  friendly  Indians  who  had  trusted  to  his 
good  faith;  and,  moreover,  he  made  no  effort  to  punish  the 
murderer." 

The  Horror  of  the  Frontiersmen.  Such  was  the  indig- 
nation with  which  this  deed  was  received  by  the  better  class 
of  backwoodsmen  that  Sevier's  forces  melted  away,  and  he 
was  obliged  to  abandon  a  march  he  had  planned  against  the 
Chickamaugas.  The  Continental  Congress  passed  resolutions 
condemning  such  acts,  and  the  justices  of  the  court  of  Abbe- 
ville, S.  C,  with  Andrew  Pickens  at  their  head  "wrote  to  the 
people  living  on  Nollechucky,  French  Broad  and  Holstein" 
denouncing  in  unmeasured  terms  the  encroachments  and  out- 
rages of  which  Sevier  and  his  backwoodsmen  had  been  guilty. 
"The  governor  of  North  Carolina,  as  soon  as  he  heard  the 
news,  ordered  the  arrest  of  Sevier  and  his  associates  [for  trea- 


118         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

son]  doubtless  as  much  because  of  their  revolt  against  the 
State  as  because  of  the  atrocities  they  had  committed  against 
the  Indians.  .  .  .  The  Governor  of  the  State  had  given 
orders  to  seize  him  because  of  his  violation  of  the  laws  and 
treaties  in  committing  wanton  murder  on  friendly  Indians; 
and  a  warrant  to  arrest  him  for  high  treason  was  issued  by 
the  courts." 

Sevier  Is  Arrested  for  High  Treason.  Sevier  knew  of 
this  warrant,  and  during  the  summer  of  1788  led  his  bands  of 
wild  horsemen  on  forays  against  the  Cherokee  towns,  never 
fighting  a  pitched  battle,  but  by  hard  riding  taking  them  by 
surprise.  As  long  as  he  remained  on  the  frontier  he  was  in 
no  danger;  but  late  in  October,  1788,  he  ventured  back  to 
Jonesborough,  where  he  drank  freely  and  caroused  with  his 
friends.  He  soon  quarreled  with  one  of  Tipton's  side,  who 
denounced  him  for  the  murder  of  Corn  Tassel  and  the  other 
peaceful  chiefs.  "Finally  they  all  rode  away;  but  when  some 
miles  out  of  town  Sevier  got  into  a  quarrel  with  another  man; 
and  after  more  drinking  and  brawling,  he  went  to  pass  the 
night  at  a  house,  the  owner  of  which  was  his  friend.  Mean- 
time, one  of  the  men  with  whom  he  had  quarreled  informed 
Tipton  that  his  foe  was  within  his  grasp.  Tipton  gathered 
eight  or  ten  men  and  early  next  morning  surprised  Sevier  in 
his  lodgings.  Sevier  could  do  nothing  but  surrender,  and  Tip- 
ton put  him  in  irons,  and  sent  him  across  the  mountains  to 
Morganton  in  North  Carolina." 

Dr.  Ramsey's  Account  of  the  Arrest.  In  his  Annals  of 
Tennessee  (p.  427)  this  writer  copies  Haywood's  History  of 
Tennessee  :  "The  pursuers  then  went  to  the  widow  Brown's, 
where  Sevier  was.  Tipton  and  the  party  with  him  rushed 
forward  to  the  door  of  common  entrance.  It  was  about  sun- 
rise. Mrs.  Brown  had  just  risen.  Seeing  a  party  with  arms 
at  that  early  hour,  well  acquainted  with  Colonel  Tipton,  prob- 
ably rightly  apprehending  the  cause  of  this  visit,  she  sat  her- 
self down  in  the  front  door  to  prevent  their  getting  into  the 
house,  which  caused  a  considerable  bustle  between  her  and 
Colonel  Tipton.  Sevier  had  slept  near  one  end  of  the  house 
and,  on  hearing  a  noise,  sprung  from  his  bed  and,  looking 
through  a  hole  in  the  door-side,  saw  Colonel  Love,  upon  which 
he  opened  the  door  and  held  out  his  hand,  saying  to  Colonel 


STATE  OF  FRANKLIN  119 

Love,  'I  surrender  to  you.'  Colonel  Love  led  him  to  the 
place  where  Tipton  and  Mrs.  Brown  were  contending  about 
a  passage  into  the  house.  Tipton,  upon  seeing  Sevier,  was 
greatly  enraged,  and  swore  that  he  would  hang  him.  Tipton 
held  a  pistol  in  his  hand,  sometimes  swearing  he  would  shoot 
him,  and  Sevier  was  really  afraid  that  he  would  put  his  threat 
into  execution.  Tipton  at  length  became  calm  and  ordered 
Sevier  to  get  his  horse,  for  that  he  would  carry  him  to  Jones- 
boro.  Sevier  pressed  Colonel  Love  to  go  with  him  to  Jones- 
boro,  which  the  latter  consented  to  do.  On  the  way  he 
requested  of  Colonel  Love  to  use  his  influence  that  he  might 
not  be  sent  over  the  mountains  into  North  Carolina.  Colonel 
Love  remonstrated  to  him  against  an  imprisonment  in  Jones- 
boro,  for,  said  he,  'Tipton  will  place  a  strong  guard  around 
you  there;  your  friends  will  attempt  a  rescue,  and  bloodshed 
will  be  the  result'.  ...  As  soon  as  they  arrived  at 
Jonesboro,  Tipton  ordered  iron  hand-cuffs  to  be  put  on  him, 
which  was  accordingly  done.  He  then  carried  the  governor 
to  the  residence  of  Colonel  Love  and  that  of  the  widow  Pugh, 
whence  he  went  home,  leaving  Sevier  in  the  custody  of  the 
deputy  sheriff  and  two  other  men,  with  orders  to  carry  him 
to  Morganton,  and  lower  down,  if  he  thought  it  necessary. 
Colonel  Love  traveled  with  him  till  late  in  the  evening. 

"Before  Colonel  Love  had  left  the  guard,  they  had,  at  his 
request,  taken  off  the  irons  of  their  prisoner.  ...  A 
few  days  afterwards  James  and  John  Sevier,  sons  of  the  Gov- 
ernor, .  .  .  and  some  few  others  were  seen  by  Colonel 
Love  following  the  way  the  guard  had  gone.  .  .  .  The 
guard  proceeded  with  him  to  Morganton  where  they  deliv- 
ered him  to  William  Morrison,  the  then  high  Sheriff  of  Burke 
county.  .  .  .  General  McDowell  and  General  Joseph 
McDowell  .  .  .  both  followed  him  immediately  to 
Morganton  and  there  became  his  securities  for  a  few  days 
to  visit  friends.  He  returned  promptly.  The  sheriff  then, 
upon  his  own  responsibility,  let  him  have  a  few  days  more  to 
visit  friends  and  acquaintances.  ...  By  this  time  his 
two  sons  .  .  .  and  others,  came  into  Morganton  with- 
out any  knowledge  of  the  people  there,  who  they  were,  or 
what  their  business  was.  Court  was  .  .  .  sitting  in 
Morganton  and  they  were  with  the  people,  generally,  without 


120         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

suspicion.  At  night,  when  the  court  broke  up  and  the  people 
dispersed,  they,  with  the  Governor,  pushed  forward  towards 
the  mountains  with  the  greatest  rapidity,  and  before  morning 
arrived  at  them." 

Roosevelt  Repudiates  the  Sensational  Account.  In 
a  foot  note  on  page  226,  Vol.  iv,  Roosevelt  says:  " Ramsey 
first  copies  Haywood  and  gives  the  account  correctly.  He 
then  adds  a  picturesque  alternative  account — followed  by 
later  writers — in  which  Sevier  escapes  in  an  open  court  on  a 
celebrated  race  mare.  The  basis  for  this  last  account,  so  far 
as  it  has  any  basis  at  all,  lies  on  statements  made  nearly 
half  a  century  after  the  event,  and  entirely  unknown  to  Hay- 
wood. There  is  no  evidence  of  any  kind  as  to  its  truthfulness. 
It  must  be  set  aside  as  mere  fable."  The  late  Judge  A.  C. 
Avery,  in  1889,  published  in  the  Morganton  Weekly  Herald 
a  third  account,  to  the  effect  that  after  having  been  released 
on  bond  a  few  days  Sevier  surrendered  himself  to  the  sheriff 
of  Burke  and  went  to  jail;  that  afterwards,  when  his  case 
was  called  the  sheriff  started  with  him  to  the  court,  but  Se- 
vier's friends  managed  to  get  him  separated  from  the  sheriff 
and  to  open  a  way  for  him  to  his  horse  then  being  held  near 
by.  But  this,  too,  rests  upon  what  old  men  of  thirty  years 
prior  to  1889  said  their  fathers  had  told  them. 

Sevier's  Second  Treason  Against  the  State.  Miro 
in  New  Orleans  and  Gardoqui  in  Washington,  were  the  chief 
representatives  of  Spain  in  America  in  1778,  and  the  unrest 
"in  the  West  had  taken  the  form,  not  of  attempting  the 
capture  of  Louisiana  by  force,  but  of  obtaining  concessions 
from  the  Spaniards  in  return  for  favors  to  be  rendered  to 
them.  Clark  and  Robertson,  Morgan,  Brown  and  Innes, 
Wilkinson  and  Sebastian,  were  all  in  correspondence  with 
Gardoqui  and  Miro,  in  the  endeavor  to  come  to  some  profit- 
able agreement  with  them.  Sevier  now  joined  the  number. 
His  new-born  State  had  died;  he  was  being  prosecuted  for 
high  treason;  he  was  ready  to  go  to  any  lengths  against  North 
Carolina;  and  he  clutched  at  the  chance  of  help  from  the 
Spaniards.  At  the  time  North  Carolina  was  out  of  the  Union 
(not  having  yet  ratified  the  Constitution)  so  Sevier  committed 
no  offense  against  the  Federal  Government."  So,  when 
Gardoqui  heard  of  the  fight  between  Sevier's  and  Tipton's  men, 


STATE  OF  FRANKLIN  121 

he  sent  an  emissary  to  Sevier,  who  was  in  the  mood  to  grasp 
"a  helping  hand  stretched  out  from  no  matter  what  quarter." 
He  had  no  organized  government  back  of  him,  but  he  was  in 
the  midst  of  his  successful  Cherokee  campaigns,  and  he  knew 
the  reckless  Indian  fighters  would  gladly  follow  him  in  any 
movement,  if  he  had  a  chance  of  success.  He  felt  that  if  he 
were  given  money  and  arms,  and  the  promise  of  outside  assist- 
ance, he  could  yet  win  the  day.  He  jumped  at  Gardoqui's 
cautious  offers;  though  careful  not  to  promise  to  subject  him- 
self to  Spain,  and  doubtless  with  no  idea  of  playing  the  part 
of  Spanish  vassal  longer  than  the  needs  of  the  moment  required. 
In  July  he  wrote  to  Gardoqui,  eager  to  strike  a  bargain  with 
him,  and  in  September  sent  him  two  letters  by  the  hand  of 
his  son,  James  Sevier,  who  accompanied  White  [Gardoqui's 
emissary]  when  the  latter  made  his  return  journey  to  the 
Federal  Capital. "  In  one  of  these  letters  he  assured  Gardo- 
qui "that  the  western  people  had  grown  to  know  that  their 
hopes  of  prosperity  rested  on  Spain,  and  that  the  principal 
people  of  Franklin  were  anxious  to  enter  into  an  alliance  with 
and  obtain  commercial  concessions  from,  the  Spaniards.  He 
importuned  Gardoqui  for  money,  and  for  military  aid,  assur- 
ing him  that  the  Spaniards  could  best  accomplish  their  ends 
by  furnishing  these  supplies  immediately,  especially  as  the 
struggle  over  the  adoption  of  the  Federal  Constitution  made 
the  time  opportune  for  revolt.  .  .  .  He  sent  them  to  New 
Orleans  that  Miro  might  hear  and  judge  their  plans,  neverthe- 
less nothing  came  of  the  project,  and  doubtless  only  a  few  peo- 
ple in  Franklin  ever  knew  that  it  existed.  As  for  Sevier, 
when  he  saw  that  he  was  baffled,  he  suddenly  became  a  Fed- 
eralist and  an  advocate  of  a  strong  central  government;  and 
this,  doubtless,  not  because  of  love  of  Federalism,  but  to 
show  his  hostility  to  North  Carolina,  which  had  at  first  refused 
to  enter  the  new  Union.  Thus  the  last  spark  of  independent 
life  flickered  out  in  Franklin  proper.  The  people  who  had  set- 
tled on  the  Indian  borders  were  left  without  government, 
North  Carolina  regarding  them  as  trespassers  on  the  Indian 
territory.  They  accordingly  met  and  organized  a  rude  gov- 
ernmental machine,  on  the  model  of  the  Commonwealth  of 
Franklin;  and  the  wild  little  State  existed  as  a  separate  and 


122         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

independent  republic  until  the  new  Federal  government 
included  it  in  the  territory  south  of  the  Ohio."  5 

Washington  county  sent  Sevier  as  a  representative  to  the 
North  Carolina  legislature  in  1789,  and  late  in  that  session 
he  was  reluctantly  admitted.  He  was  also  a  member  of  the 
first  Congress  of  the  United  States  from  North  Carolina, 
March  4,  1789  to  March  3,  1791,  and  was  elected  the  first  gov- 
ernor of  Tennessee. 

Sevier  and  Tipton.  It  must  be  admitted  that  Sevier  had, 
upon  the  repeal  of  the  act  of  session  "counselled  his  fellow 
citizens  to  abandon  the  movement  for  a  new  State"  6  and  after 
the  expiration  of  his  term  and  the  collapse  of  the  Franklin 
government  he  wrote  to  one  of  the  opposing  party,  not  per- 
sonally unfriendly  to  him,  that  he  had  been  dragged  into 
the  Franklin  government  by  the  people  of  the  county;  that 
he  wished  to  suspend  hostilities,  and  was  ready  to  abide  by  the 
decision  of  the  North  Carolina  legislature ;  but  that  he  was 
determined  to  share  the  fate  of  those  who  had  stood  by  him, 
whatever  it  might  be.7  John  Tipton,  on  the  other  hand, 
while  favoring  the  formation  of  an  independent  State  at  the 
outset,  voted  against  putting  the  new  government  into  imme- 
diate operation,  presumably  because  he  hoped  that  when  the 
mother  State  realized  the  seriousness  of  the  defection  in  Wa- 
tauga, she  would  remedy  the  wrongs  of  which  the  frontiersmen 
had  complained.  In  this  he  was  right;  but  when  in  Novem- 
ber, 1785,  the  convention  met  at  Greenville  to  provide  a  per- 
manent constitution  for  the  new  State,  he  favored  the  adop- 
tion of  a  much  more  radical  charter  as  a  remedy  for  the  ills 
under  which  the  people  suffered  than  Sevier,  whose  influence 
secured  the  adoption  of  the  constitution  of  the  very  State 
from  which  the  western  people  had  withdrawn.  To  some 
this  document  favored  by  Tipton  seems  absurd,  but  it  had 
been  drawn  by  no  less  a  man  than  the  redoubtable  Sam  Hous- 
ton, afterwards  president  of  the  Republic  of  Texas. 

James  Robertson.  In  May,  1771,  James  Robertson,  his 
brother  Charles,  and  sixteen  families  from  Wake  county 
reached  Watauga,  preceding  Sevier  by  about  one  year.  Rob- 
ertson at  once  became  the  brains  of  the  settlement — its  balance 
wheel,  so  to  speak.  Robertson  and  Sevier  proved  themselves 
to    be,    "with   the   exception   of    George   Rogers   Clark,   the 


STATE  OF  FRANKLIN  123 

greatest  of  the  first  generation  of  trans-Alleghany  Pioneers, " 
for  they  were  the  fathers  of  the  first  self-governing  body  in 
America. 

For  there  on  the  banks  of  the  sparkling  Watauga 
Was  cradled  the  spirit  that  conquered  the  West — 

The  spirit  that,  soaring  o'er  mountain  and  prairie, 
E'en  on  the  Pacific  shore  paused  not  for  rest. 

In  1779-1780  he  founded  the  Cumberland  settlement  where 
Nashville  now  stands,  and  Roosevelt  gives  him  the  chief 
credit  for  the  tuition  under  which  those  frontiersmen  were 
governed  from  the  first, 8  though  Richard  Henderson  was 
present,  counselling  and  aiding.  When,  however,  Hender- 
son's title  proved  null,  he  returned  home,  while  Robertson 
remained,  and  piloted  the  settlers  through  the  dangers  of 
that  early  day.  Thus,  though  he  had  no  share  in  Kings 
Mountain,  he  was  at  that  time  doing  a  work  quite  as  impor- 
tant as  fighting  the  British ;  for  he  was  guiding  the  most  remote 
of  the  western  settlements  in  America  on  the  difficult  path 
of  self-government. 

Sevier's  Spring  at  Bakersville.  There  is  a  fine  spring 
at  Bakersville,  nearly  in  front  of  the  old  Penland  House,  now 
the  Young  hotel,  at  which  it  is  said  that  Sevier  and  his  party 
stopped  and  rested  after  leaving  Morganton.  About  1850  an 
old  sword  was  found  near  this  spring,  and  was  supposed  to 
have  been  lost  by  one  of  these  mountaineers.  They  reached 
Cathey's,  or  Cathoo's,  plantation  that  night,  after  coming  20 
miles  from  Elk  Hollow,  at  the  mouth  of  a  small  eastern  tribu- 
tary of  the  North  Toe  flowing  north  from  Gillespie's  gap,  and 
called  Grassy  creek.  Here  they  camped.  It  is  near  what  is 
now  Spruce  Pine  on  the  line  of  the  Carolina,  Clinchfield  and 
Ohio  Railroad.  "On  Friday  the  29th  they  passed  up  Grassy 
creek  and  through  Gillespie's  gap  in  the  Blue  Ridge,  where 
they  divided;  Campbell's  men,  at  least,  going  six  or  seven 
miles  south  to  Henry  Gillespie's,  and  a  little  below  to  Colonel 
William  Wofford's  Fort,  both  in  Turkey  Cove;  while  the  oth- 
ers pursued  the  old  trace  in  a  easterly  direction,  about  the 
same  distance,  to  the  North  Cove,  on  the  North  Fork  of  the 
Catawba,  where  they  camped  for  the  night  in  the  woods,  on 
the  bank  of  that  stream,  just  above  the  mouth  of  Honeycutt's 
creek." 


124         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Sycamore  Shoals  Monument.  Monuments  have  been 
placed  along  this  route  to  mark  it  permanently;  Sycamore 
Shoals,  Tennessee,  at  Elk  Hollow,  at  the  mouth  of  Grassy 
creek  near  Spruce  Pine,  and  at  the  junction  of  Honey cutt's 
creek  and  the  North  Fork,  near  a  station  on  the  C.  C.  &  O. 
Railroad  known  as  Linville  Falls.  The  monument  at  Syca- 
more Shoals  is  beautiful,  and  was  erected  September  26,  1909, 
by  Bonny  Kate,  John  Sevier  and  Sycamore  Shoals  chapters, 
D.  A.  R.  Here  it  was  that  the  patriots  on  their  way  to 
Kings  Mountain  assembled  under  Sevier,  Shelby  and  Camp- 
bell, September  25,  1780.  On  the  southern  face  is  the  inscrip- 
tion: "The  Sword  of  the  Lord  and  of  Gideon."  Also  a 
statement  that  Fort  Watauga,  the  first  settlers'  fort  built 
west  of  the  Alleghanies,  was  erected  here  in  1770.  Also  a 
statement  that  "Here  was  negotiated  the  Treaty  of  Sycamore 
Shoals  under  which  Transylvania  was  acquired  from  the  Cher- 
okees,  March  19,  1775." 

Robert  Love.  He  was  born  near  the  Tinkling  Spring 
Meeting  house,  Augusta  county,  Va.,  May  11,  1760.  His 
father  was  Samuel,  son  of  Ephraim  Love,  captain  of  the  Col- 
onial Horse;  and  his  mother  Dorcas,  second  daughter  of  James 
Bell,  to  whom  had  been  issued  on  the  formation  of  Augusta 
county,  October  30,  1745,  a  "commission  of  the  Peace."9 
Samuel  Love  and  Dorcas  Bell  were  married  July  3,  1759. 
Robert  Love  was  christened  by  Rev.  John  Craig,  who  was 
pastor  of  the  Tinkling  Spring  church  from  1740  to  1764.  !  ° 
It  was  at  this  old  church  that  the  eloquent  James  Waddell, 
afterwards  immortalized  by  Wm.  Wirt,  was  pastor  for  sev- 
eral years,  though  he  did  not  become  "The  Blind  Preacher" 
till  after  the  Revolutionary  War  and  he  had  removed  to  Gor- 
donsville,  his  blindness  having  been  caused  by  cataract.  Robert 
Love's  pension  papers  show x  1  that  he  was  on  the  expedition  un- 
der Col.  Christie  in  1776  against  the  Cherokees;  that  he  was  at 
Fort  Henry  on  Long  Island  of  the  Holston  in  1777;  that  he  was 
stationed  in  1778  at  the  head  of  the  Clinch  and  Sandy  rivers 
(Fort  Robertson),  and  operated  against  the  Shawnees  from  April 
to  October;  that  from  1779  to  1780  he  was  engaged  against  the 
Tories  on  Tom's  creek,  New  River,  and  Cripple  creek,  at 
Moravian  Old  Town,  and  at  the  Shallow  ford  of  the  Yadkin, 
under  Col.  Wm.  Campbell;  that  in  1781  he  was  engaged  in 
Guilford  county  "and  the  adjoining  county"  against  Corn- 


STATE  OF  FRANKLIN  125 

wallis,  and  "was  in  a  severe  battle  with  his  army  at  White- 
sell  mill  and  the  Rudy  ford  of  the  Haw  river,  under  Gen. 
Pickens;  that  from  this  place,  with  Capt.  Wm.  Doach,  he  was 
sent  back  "from  the  rendezvous  at  the  Lead  Mines  to  col- 
lect and  bring  more  men;"  that  in  1782  he  "was  again  sta- 
tioned out  on  the  frontiers  of  the  Clinch,  at  Fort  Robertson 
from  June  to  October."  He  was  living  in  Mont- 
gomery, now  Wythe  county,  Va.,  when  he  entered  the  service 
in  1776,  and  after  the  Revolutionary  War,  his  parents  being 
dead,  he  moved  with  Wm.  Gregory  and  his  family  to  Wash- 
ington county,  N.  C.  (now  Tennessee),  in  the  fall  of  1782. 
Having  moved  to  Greasy  Cove,  now  Erwin  Tenn.,  he  married 
Mary  Ann  Dillard,  daughter  of  Col.  Thomas  Dillard  of 
Pittsylvania  county,  Va.,  on  the  11th  day  of  September,  1783; 
and  on  the  5th  of  April,  1833,  he  made  application  for  a  pen- 
sion under  the  act  of  Congress  of  June  7,  1832,  attaching  his 
commission  signed  by  Ben.  Harrison,  governor  of  Virginia; 
but,  a  question  having  arisen  as  to  the  date  of  this  commis- 
sion Andrew  Jackson  wrote  from  The  Hermitage  on  October 
12,  1837,  to  the  effect  that  he  had  known  Col.  Love  since  the 
fall  of  1784,  and  that  there  "is  no  man  in  this  Union  who  has 
sustained  a  higher  reputation  for  integrity  than  Col.  Robert 
Love,  with  all  men  and  with  all  parties,  although  himself  a 
uniform  democratic  Republican,  and  that  no  man  stands 
deservedly  higher  as  a  man  of  great  moral  worth  than  Col. 
Love  has  always  stood  in  the  estimation  of  all  who  knew  him. " 
Even  this  endorsement,  however,  did  not  serve  to  secure  the 
pension;  but  when  E.  H.  McClure  of  Haywood  filed  an  affi- 
davit to  the  effect  that  the  date  of  the  commission  was  1781 
or  1782,  official  red-tape  had  no  other  refuge,  and  granted  the 
pension.  He  was  a  delegate  to  the  Greenville  convention  of 
the  State  of  Franklin,  December  14,  1784,  and  voted  to  adopt 
the  constitution  of  North  Carolina  instead  of  that  proposed 
by  Sam  Houston. x  2  In  1778  he  was  engaged  against  the  Chick- 
amauga  Indians  as  colonel  of  a  regiment  operating  near  White's 
fort. 1 3 

He  also  drew  a  pension  from  the  State  (Colonial  Records, 
Vol.  xxii,  p.  74).  He  and  John  Blair  represented  Washing- 
ton county  (formerly  the  State  of  Franklin)  in  the  North 
Carolina  legislature  in  November,  1$89  (Ibid.,  Vol.  xxi,  p. 
194).     Later  in  the  same  session  John  Sevier  appeared  and 


126         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

was  sworn  in  as  an  additional  representative  from  the  same 
county  (Ibid.,  pp.  584-85).  Love  was  also  a  justice  of  the 
peace  for  Washington  county  in  October,  1788.  (Ibid.,  Vol. 
xxii,  p.  702);  and  the  journal  of  the  North  Carolina  State 
convention  for  the  ratification  of  the  constitution  of  the 
United  States  shows  that  Robert  Love,  Landon  Carter,  John 
Blair,  Wm.  Houston  and  Andrew  Green  were  delegates,  and 
that  Robert  Love  voted  for  its  adoption.  (Ibid.,  Vol.  xxii, 
pp.  36,  39,  47,  48). 

He  moved  to  Buncombe  county,  N.  C,  as  early  as  1792,  and 
represented  that  county  in  1793,  1794,  1795 14  in  the  State 
Senate.  According  to  the  affidavit  of  his  brother,  Gen.  Thos. 
Love,  Robert  Love  "was  an  elector  for  president  and  vice- 
president  when  Thomas  Jefferson  was  elected,  and  has  been 
successively  elected  ever  since,  down  to  (and  including)  the 
election  of  the  present  chief  magistrate,  Andrew  Jackson. " 1 5 
This  affidavit  is  dated  April  6,  1833.  In  a  letter  from  Robert 
Love  to  William  Welch,  dated  at  Raleigh,  December  4,  1828, 
he  says  that  all  the  electors  were  present  on  the  3d  "and  gave 
their  votes  in  a  very  dignified  manner  and  before  a  very  large 
concourse  of  people,"  the  State  House  being  crowded. 16  Fif- 
teen cannon  were  fired  "for  the  number  of  electoral  votes  and 
one  for  the  county  of  Haywood,  and  for  the  zeal  she  appeared 
to  have  had  from  the  number  of  votes  for  the  Old  Hero's 
Ticket.  It  was  submitted  to  me  to  bring  forward  a  motion 
to  proceed  to  ballot  for  a  president  of  the  United  States 
and  of  course  you  may  be  well  assured  that  I 
cheerfully  nominated  Andrew  Jackson.  ...  I  was  much 
gratified  to  have  that  honor  and  respect  paid  me.  From  the 
most  authentic  accounts  .  .  .  Adams  will  not  get  a  vote 
south  of  the  Potomac  or  west  of  the  mountains.  Wonderful 
what  a  majority!  For  Jackson  178  and  Adams  only  83,  leav- 
ing Jackson  a  majority  of  95  votes.  So  much  for  a  bargain 
and  intrigue."  17  The  reason  for  firing  an  extra  gun  for  Hay- 
wood county  was  because  that  county  had  cast  a  solid  vote 
for  Robert  Love  as  elector  for  Andrew  Jackson,  such  staunch 
Whigs  as  William  Mitchell  Davidson  and  Joseph  Cathey  hav- 
ing induced  their  fellow  Whigs  to  refrain  from  voting  out  of 
regard  for  their  democratic  friend  and  neighbor,  Robert  Love. 
He  carried  the  vote  to  Washington  in  a  gig  that  year.     He 


STATE  OF  FRANKLIN  127 

named  the  town  of  Waynesville  for  his  friend  "Mad"  Anthony 
Wayne,  with  whom  he  had  served  at  Long  Island  during  the 
Revolution. 

In  1821  he  was  one  of  the  commissioners  who  ran  the  bound- 
ary line  between  North  Carolina  and  Tennessee  from  Pigeon 
river  south.  On  the  14th  day  of  July,  1834,  he  was  kicked 
on  the  hip  by  a  horse  while  in  Green  county,  Tenn.,  and  so 
crippled  that  he  had  to  use  a  crutch  till  his  death. 1 8  The  gig, 
too,  had  to  be  given  up  for  a  barouche,  drawn  by  two  horses 
and  driven  by  a  coachman.  His  cue,  his  blue  swallow-tailed 
coat,  and  knee  breeches  with  silver  knee-buckles  and  silk 
stockings  are  remembered  yet  by  a  few  of  the  older  people. 
He  died  at  Waynesville,  July  17,  1845,  "  loved  by  his  friends 
and  feared  by  his  enemies."19  He  was  largely  instrumental 
in  having  Haywood  county  established,  became  its  first  clerk, 
defeating  Felix  Walker  for  the  position;  and  in  1828,  he  wrote 
to  Wm.  Welch  (December  4)  from  Raleigh:  "The  bill  for 
erecting  a  new  county  out  of  the  western  part  of  Burke  and 
northeastern  part  of  Buncombe  after  severe  debate  fell  in 
the  house  of  commons,  on  its  second  reading  by  a  majority 
against  it  of  three  only.  The  bill  for  the  division  of  Haywood 
county  has  passed  the  senate  the  third  and  last  reading  by  a 
majority  of  seven;  and,  I  suppose,  tomorrow  it  will  be  taken 
up  in  the  house  of  commons  and  in  a  few  days  we  will  know 
its  fate.  I  do  not  like  the  division  line,  but  delicacy  closes 
my  mouth  for  fear  its  being  construed  that  interest  was  my 
motive."  20 

He  left  an  estate  which  "at  one  time  was  one  of  the  largest 
estates  in  North  Carolina."21  "He  acquired  great  wealth 
and  died  respected,  leaving  a  large  fortune  to  his  children." 
He  was  the  founder  of  Waynesville.  "Besides  the  sites  for  the 
public  square,  court-house  and  jail,  land  for  the  cemetery 
and  several  churches  was  also  the  gift  of  Col.  Love."  Of 
him  and  his  brother  Thomas,  Col.  Allen  T.  Davidson  said:22 
"These  two  men  were  certainly  above  the  average  of  men, 
and  did  much  to  plant  civilization  in  the  county  where  they 
lived,  and  would  have  been  men  of  mark  in  any  community. " 

Edmund  Sams.  In  "Asheville's  Centenary,"  Dr.  Sond- 
ley  tells  us  that  this  pioneer  was  "one  of  the  first  settlers  who 
came  from  Watauga,"  and  established  a  ferry  at  the  place 


1 28         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

where  the  French  Broad  is  now  crossed  by  Smith's  Bridge; 
had  been  in  early  life  an  Indian  fighter,  and  lived  on  the  west- 
ern side  of  the  French  Broad  at  the  old  Gaston  place.  He 
was  later  a  soldier  in  the  Revolution.  In  1824  his  son  Ben- 
oni  Sams  represented  Buncombe  in  the  House. 

General  Thomas  Love.  He  was  a  brother  of  Robert  Love, 
and  was  born  in  Agusta  county,  Va.,  November  15,  1765. 
The  date  of  his  death  is  not  accurately  known,  as  he  removed 
to  Maury  county,  Tenn.,  about  1833. 23  Prof.  W.  C.  Allen, 
in  his  "Centennial  of  Haywood  County",  says  (p.  55)  that 
he  was  a  soldier  of  the  Revolution,  and  served  under  Wash- 
ington,"  but  this  must  have  been  towards  the  close  of  that 
struggle,  as  he  could  not  have  been  quite  eleven  years  of  age 
on  the  4th  of  July,  1776. 2  4  At  the  close  of  that  war,  however, 
"he  went  to  East  Tennessee  and  was  in  the  Sevier-Tipton 
war  when  the  abortive  State  of  Franklin  was  attempted."25 
Ramsey's  "Annals  of  Tennessee"  (p.  410)  records  the  fact 
that  on  one  occasion  one  of  Tipton's  men  had  captured  two 
of  Sevier's  sons,  and  would  have  hanged  them  if  Thomas 
Love  had  not  argued  him  out  of  his  purpose.  He  was  one  of 
Tipton's  followers,  but  he  showed  Tipton  the  unworthiness 
of  such  an  act.  "He  came  to  what  is  now  Haywood  comny 
about  the  year  1790.  When  Buncombe  was  formed  in  1791 
he  became  active  in  the  affairs  of  the  new  county,"  continues 
Prof.  Allen.  In  1797  he  was  elected  to  the  house  of  commons 
from  Buncombe,  and  was  re-elected  till  1808,  when  Haywood 
was  formed,  largely  through  his  efforts.  There  is  a  tradition 2  6 
that  in  1796  he  had  been  candidate  against  Philip  Hoodenpile 
who  represented  Buncombe  in  the  commons  that  year,  but 
was  defeated.  For  Hoodenpile  could  play  the  violin,  and  all 
of  Love's  wiles  were  powerless  to  keep  the  political  Eurydices 
from  following  after  this  fiddling  Orpheus.  But  Love  bided 
his  time,  and  when  the  campaign  of  1797  began  he  charged 
Hoodenpile  with  showing  contempt  for  the  common  herd  by 
playing  the  violin  before  them  with  his  left  hand;  whereas, 
when  he  played  before  "the  quality,"  as  Love  declared,  Hood- 
enpile always  performed  with  his  right  hand.  This  charge 
was  repeated  at  all  the  voting  places  of  the  county,  which 
bore  such  significant  names  as  Upper  and  Lower  Hog  Thief, 
Hardscrabble,  Pinch  Stomach,  etc.  Hoodenpile  who,  of 
course,   could  play  only  with  his  left  hand,   protested   and 


STATE  OF  FRANKLIN  129 

denied;  but  the  virus  of  class-feeling  had  been  aroused,  and 
Hoodenpile  went  down  in  defeat,  never  to  rise  again,  while 
Love  remained  in  Buncombe.  "From  the  new  county  of 
Haywood  General  Love  was  one  of  the  first  representatives, 
the  other  having  been  Thomas  Lenoir.  Love  was  continu- 
ously re-elected  from  Haywood  till  1829,  with  the  exception 
of  the  year  1816.  Who  it  was  that  defeated  him  that  year 
does  not  appear,  though  John  Stevenson  and  Wm.  Welch  were 
elected  to  the  house  and  Hodge  Raborne  to  the  senate.  This 
Hodge  Raborne  was  a  man  of  influence  and  standing  in  Hay- 
wood county,  he  having  been  elected  to  the  senate  not  only 
in  1816,  but  also  from  1817  to  1823,  inclusive,  and  again  in 
1838;  but  whether  it  was  he  or  John  Stevenson  who  defeated 
Thomas  Love,  or  whether  he  ran  that  year  or  no,  cannot  now 
be  determined. 2  7  William  Welch  was  a  nephew  by  marriage 
of  Thomas  Love,  and  it  is  not  likely  that  he  opposed  him. 
Gen.  Love  moved  to  Macon  county  in  1830,  where  his  wife 
died  and  is  buried  in  the  Methodist  church  yard  of  the  town 
of  Franklin.  He  was  one  of  the  commissioners  for  North 
Carolina  who  ran  the  line  between  this  State  and  South  Caro- 
lina in  1814. 28  "He  resided  in  Macon  for  several  years,  and 
then  removed  to  the  Western  District  of  Tennessee;  was 
elected  to  the  legislature  from  that  State,  and  was  made  pre- 
siding officer  of  the  senate.  He  was  a  man  of  very  fine  appear- 
ance, more  than  six  feet  high,  very  popular,  and  a  fine  elec- 
tioneer. Many  amusing  stories  are  told  of  him,  such  as 
carrying  garden  seeds  in  his  pocket,  and  distributing  them" 
with  his  wife's  special  regards  to  the  voter's  wife. 2  9  His 
service  in  the  legislature  for  such  an  unprecedented  length  of 
time  was  due  more  to  his  genial  manner  and  electioneering 
methods,  perhaps,  than  to  his  statesmanship;  though,  unless 
he  secured  what  the  voters  most  desired  he  would  most  prob- 
ably have  been  retired  from  public  life.  He  never  was 
so  retired. 

A  Curious  Bit  of  History.  William  Blount,  a  native  of 
this  State  and  brother  of  John  Gray  Blount  to  whom  so  much 
land  had  been  granted,  was  territorial  governor  of  Tennessee 
until  it  became  a  State,  and  was  then  elected  one  of  its  first 
senators;  but  served  only  from  1796  to  1797.  He  was  charged 
in  the  United  States  senate  with  having  entered  into  a  con- 
spiracy to  take  Louisiana  and  Florida  from  Spain  and  give 

W.  N.C. 9 


130         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

them  to  England  in  the  hope  that  England  would  prove  a  bet- 
ter neighbor  than  had  Spain,  which  had  restricted  the  use  of 
the  Mississippi.  Articles  of  impeachment  were  brought  against 
him  in  1797  by  the  House,  and  on  the  day  after  he  was  expelled 
by  the  Senate.  But  the  impeachment  trial  was  to  have  pro- 
ceeded, and  an  officer  was  sent  to  arrest  him.  But  Blount  refused 
to  go,  those  summoned  to  aid  the  officer  refused  to  do  so,  and 
the  trial  would  have  proceeded  without  him  in  December  1798, 
if  Blount's  attorney  had  not  appeared  after  the  Senate  had 
formed  itself  into  a  court  and  filed  a  plea  that  Blount  had  not 
been  an  officer  of  the  United  States  when  the  offence  charged 
was  committed,  and  it  was  decided,  14  to  11,  that  the  Senate 
had  no  jurisdiction,  on  the  ground  that  a  senator  is  not  a  civil 
officer  of  the  United  States.  The  specific  charge  was  that  Blount 
had  made  an  attempt  to  carry  into  effect  a  hostile  expedition 
in  favor  of  the  British  against  the  Spanish  possessions  in  Flor- 
ida and  Louisiana,  and  to  enlist  certain  Indian  tribes  in  the 
same. 30 

NOTES. 

iHill,  p.  215. 

2Ibid. 

3Dropped  Stitches,  28;  McGee,  p.  80. 

4Roosevelt,  Vol.  IV,  ch.  4. 

sibid.,  231. 

"Ibid.,  182. 

'Ibid.,  211. 

sibid.,  Vol.  Ill,  26. 

Waddell  (First  Edition),  20,  30,  33,  210,  et  seq.     Ibid.  (Second  Edition),  288. 

1 'Augusta  county  records. 

1 'Pension  office  files. 

12Dropped  Stitches,  28. 

"Ramsey,  417,  427. 

14W.  C.  Allen's  "Centennial  of  Haywood  county,"  p.  52. 

15Robert  Love's  Pension  Papers. 

"Published  in  Waynesville  Courier,  but  date  of  publication  not  known,  except  that  it 
was  about  1895,  probably. 

17This  refers  to  the  alleged  "puritan  and  blackleg  trade"  between  Adams  and  Clay 
four  years  before. 

18W.  C.  Allen's  "Centennial  of  Haywood  County,"  1908,  p.  51. 

"Ibid.,  p.  52. 

2  "Private  letter. 

21W.  C.  Allen's  "Centennial  of  Haywood  County,"  p.  52. 

22Col.  A.  T.  Davidson's  "Reminiscenses"  in  "The  Lyceum,"  January,  1891. 

23Prof.  Allen  says  that  he  died  about  1830,  but  he  signed  an  affidavit  in  April  6,  1833, 
in  Robert  Love's  pension  matter. 

"Although  but  a  boy,  he  was  a  private  in  the  Continental  Line.  Col.  Rec,  Vol.  XXII, 
73. 

"Allen,  55. 

"Statement  of  Capt.  J.  M.  Gudger,  Sr. 

27Wheeler,  54,  206.  There  is  no  other  record  that  approaches  this.  Col.  A.  T.  David- 
son in  Lyceum,  January,  1891. 

2*Rev.  Stat.  N.  C,  1837,  Vol.  II,  p.  87. 

29The  Lyceum,  p.  9,  January,  1891. 

"Manual  of  the  constitution  of  the  United  States,  by  Israel  Ward  Andrews,  pp.  199,  200. 


CHAPTER  VII 

GRANTS  AND  LITIGATION 

Public  Lands.  Immediately  upon  the  declaration  of  inde- 
pendence the  State  began  to  dispose  of  its  immense  tracts  of 
vacant  lands.  It  was  granted  at  first  in  640-acre  tracts  to 
each  loyal  citizen,  with  one  hundred  additional  acres  to  his 
wife  and  each  child  at  five  cents  per  acre;  but  for  all  in  addi- 
tion to  that  amount,  ten  cents  per  acre  was  charged,  if  the 
additional  land  was  claimed  within  twelve  months  from  the 
end  of  the  session  of  the  legislature  of  1777. 1  The  price  was 
expressed  in  pounds,  two  pounds  and  ten  shillings  standing 
for  the  lower  and  five  pounds  for  the  higher  price.  Ten  cents 
was  the  charge  for  all  lands  in  1818.  No  person  in  Washing- 
ton county,  however,  could  take  more  than  640  acres  and  100 
additional  for  wife  and  each  child, 2  until  the  legislature  should 
provide  further;  but  the  county  was  ceded  as  part  of  Tennes- 
see before  this  restriction  was  removed.  When  the  State  ac- 
quired the  Cherokee  lands  it  reduced  the  price  per  acre  in 
1833  to  five  cents  per  acre  again;  but  it  was  afterwards 
restored  to  ten  cents  where  it  remained  for  a  long  time. 
There  is  also  a  curious  proviso  in  the  act  of  1779  (ch.  140,  s. 
5)  to  the  effect  that  no  person  shall  be  entitled  "to  claim  any 
greater  quantity  of  land  than  640  acres  where  the  survey 
shall  be  bounded  in  any  part  by  vacant  lands,  or  more  than 
1,000  acres  between  the  lines  of  lands  already  surveyed  and 
laid  out  for  any  other  person."  Both  the  provision  for  the 
payment  of  five  pounds  for  all  in  excess  of  640  acres,  etc.,  in 
any  one  year,  and  this  last  proviso,  seem  to  have  been  dis- 
regarded from  the  first;  for  in  1796  the  State  granted  to  John 
Gray  Blount  over  one  million  acres  in  Buncombe  for  fifty 
shillings  a  hundred  acres.  Under  a  statute  allowing  swamp  lands 
to  be  granted  in  one  body  land  speculators  laid  their  entries 
adjoining  each  other  in  640-acre  tracts,  and  took  out  one 
grant  for  the  entire  boundary. 3  These  large  tracts  usually 
excepted  a  considerable  acreage  from  the  boundary  granted, 
which  acreage  had  been  determined  by  the  secretary  of  state 

(131) 


132         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

from  the  surveys  made  upon  the  warrants;  but  unless  the 
grants  themselves  showed  upon  their  face  the  number  of  acres 
of  each  tract  and  the  names  of  the  grantees  to  the  excepted 
lands,  the  grantees  could  not  show  title  by  proving  dehors 
that  their  land  lay  within  the  limits  of  the  granted  tract,  as 
such  excepted  acreage  merely,  was  held  to  be  too  vague  to 
confer  title;  but  the  boundaries  of  these  excepted  tracts  could 
be  determined  by  the  Secretary  of  State,  and  shown  by  certified 
copies  from  his  office. 4 

Cherokee  Lands.  Up  to  1826  all  lands  had  been  ranked 
alike;  but  with  the  acquisition  of  the  large  Cherokee  terri- 
tory, with  bottom,  second  bottom,  hill,  timber,  mountain  and 
cliff  lands,  a  classification  was  imperative.  So  in  that  year 
commissioners  were  appointed  to  ascertain  all  the  Cherokee 
lands  that  were  worth  more  than  fifty  cents  an  acre,  lay  them 
off  into  sections  containing  from  fifty  to  three  hundred  acres, 
and  to  note  the  quality  of  the  land,  stating  whether  it  was 
first,  second  or  third. 5  But  this  limited  classification  was 
soon  found  to  be  inadequate,  and  in  1836  commissioners  were 
required  to  ascertain  all  unsold  Cherokee  lands  as  would  sell 
for  20  cents  per  acre  and  over,  and  divide  them  into  sections 
or  districts  and  expose  them  for  public  sale;  lands  of  the  first 
quality  to  be  sold  for  four  dollars  per  acre;  lands  of  the  sec- 
ond quality  for  two  dollars  per  acre;  lands  of  the  third  quality 
for  one  dollar  per  acre;  lands  of  the  fourth  quality  for  fifty 
cents  per  acre  and  lands  of  the  fifth  quality  for  not  less  than 
twenty  cents  per  acre. 6  The  surveyor  was  also  required  to 
note  in  his  field-book  the  mines,  mineral  springs,  mill  seats, 
and  principal  water-courses;  and  to  make  three  maps  before 
November  1,  1837,  one  of  which  was  to  be  deposited  in  the 
governor's  office,  the  second  in  the  office  of  the  secretary  of 
state,  and  the  third  in  the  office  of  the  county  clerk  of  the 
county  of  Macon.  All  the  lands  worth  less  than  twenty 
cents  per  acre  were  denominated  vacant  and  unsurveyed 
lands,  but  they  could  be  entered,  while  those  classified  could 
be  bought  only  at  auction. 

How  Lands  Were  to  be  Surveyed.  These  surveyed  and 
classified  tracts  were  to  be  bounded  by  natural  boundaries  or 
right  lines  running  east  and  west,  north  and  south,  and  to 
be  an  exact  square  or  oblong,  the  length  not  to  exceed  double 
the  breadth,  unless  where  such  lines  should  interfere  with  lands 


GRANTS  AND  LITIGATION  133 

already  granted  or  surveyed,  or  should  bound  on  navigable 
water,  in  which  last  case  the  water  should  form  one  side  of  the 
survey,  etc. 

Preferences.  Those  who  had  made  entries  under  the 
crown  or  Lord  Granville,  or,  who  since  his  death  had  made 
improvements  on  the  lands  were  to  have  preference  in  enter- 
ing them. 7 

Indian  Bounds.  8  In  1778  (ch.  132)  it  was  provided  that 
no  lands  within  the  Indian  boundaries  should  be  entered,  sur- 
veyed or  granted,  and  those  boundaries  were  described  as 
starting  from  a  point  on  the  dividing  line  agreed  upon  between 
the  Cherokees  and  Virginia  where  the  Virginia  and  North 
Carolina  line  shall  cross  the  same  when  run ;  thence  a  right  line 
to  the  north  bank  of  the  Holston  river,  at  the  mouth  of  Clouds 
creek,  which  was  the  second  creek  below  the  Warrior's  ford 
at  the  mouth  of  Carter's  valley;  thence  a  right  line  to  the 
highest  point  of  High  Rock  or  Chimney  Top;  thence  a  right 
line  to  the  mouth  of  Camp  or  McNamee's  creek  on  the  south 
bank  of  Nollechucky  river,  about  ten  miles  below  the  mouth 
of  Great  Limestone;  and  from  the  mouth  of  Camp  creek  a 
southeast  course  to  the  top  of  the  Great  Iron  mountain;  and 
thence  a  south  course  to  the  dividing  ridge  between  the  waters 
of  French  Broad  and  Nollechucky  rivers;  thence  a  south- 
westwardly  course  along  said  ridge  to  the  Blue  Ridge,  and 
thence  along  the  Blue  Ridge  to  the  South  Carolina  line.  This 
excluded  from  entry  and  grant  all  of  the  mountain  region 
west  of  the  Blue  Ridge  that  was  south  of  the  ridge  between 
the  French  Broad  and  the  Nollechucky  rivers;  but  opened 
a  territory  now  covered  by  the  counties  of  Alleghany,  Ashe, 
Watauga,  Avery,  Mitchell  and  a  part  of  Yancey,  and  a  good 
deal  of  the  northeastern  corner  of  what  is  now  Tennessee. 

Houses  of  Worship  on  Vacant  Lands.  9  All  churches  on 
vacant  lands  were  given  outright  to  the  denominations  which 
had  built  them,  together  with  two  acres  adjoining. 

Officers  and  Soldiers  of  the  Continental  Line.  In 
1782  (ch.  173),  each  soldier  and  officer  of  the  Continental 
line,  then  in  service  and  who  continued  to  the  end  of  the 
war;  or  who  had  been  disabled  in  the  service,  and  subse- 
quently all  who  had  served  two  years  honorably  and  had 
not  re-enlisted  or  had  been  dropped  on  reducing  the  forces, 
were  given  lands  as  follows: 


134         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Privates  640  acres  each;  Non-commissioned  officers  1000 
acres  each;  Subalterns  2560  each;  Captains  3840  each;  Majors 
4800  each;  Lieut.-Colonels  7200  each;  Lieut.-Colonel  Com- 
manders 7200  each;  Colonels  7200  each;  Brigadiers  12000 
each;  Chaplains  7200  each;  Surgeons  4800  each;  and  Sur- 
geons Mates  2560  each.  Three  commissioners  and  a  guard 
of  100  men  were  authorized  to  lay  off  these  lands  without 
expense  to  the  soldiers. 

Lands  for  Soldiers  of  the  Continental  Line.  In  1783 
(ch.  186)  the  following  land  was  reserved  for  the  soldiers  and 
officers  of  the  Continental  line  for  three  years  :  Beginning  on 
the  Virginia  line  where  Cumberland  river  intersects  the  same; 
thence  south  fifty-five  miles;  thence  west  to  the  Tennessee 
river;  thence  down  the  Tennessee  river  to  the  Virginia  line; 
thence  with  the  Virginia  line  east  to  the  beginning."  This 
was  a  lordly  domain,  embracing  Nashville  and  the  Duck 
river  country  which  was  largely  settled  up  by  people  from 
Buncombe  county,  including  some  of  the  Davidsons  and 
General  Thomas  Love,  who  moved  there  about  1830.  For 
it  will  be  remembered  that  in  the  act  of  cession  of  the  Ten- 
nessee territory  it  was  expressly  provided  that  in  case  the 
lands  laid  off  for  "the  officers  and  soldiers  of  the  Continental 
line"  shall  not  "contain  a  sufficient  quantity  of  lands  for 
cultivation  to  make  good  the  quota  intended  by  law  for  each, 
such  officer  or  soldier  who  shall  fall  short  of  his  proportion 
shall  make  up  the  deficiency  out  of  the  lands  of  the  ceded 
territory."  But,  while  preference  was  given  to  the  soldiers 
in  these  lands,  they  were  not  restricted  to  them,  but  could 
enter  and  get  grants  for  any  other  land  that  was  open  for 
such  purposes. 

The  Forehandedness  of  Certain  Officers.  From  Hart's 
"Formation  of  the  Union,"  Sec.  51,  we  learn  that  although 
Congress  had  provided  bounty  lands  for  the  soldiers  of  the 
Revolution,  our  officers  demanded  something  better  for  them- 
selves; and,  to  appease  them,  Congress,  on  the  26th  of  April, 
1778,  had  voted  them  half  pay  for  life,  as  an  essential  measure 
for  keeping  the  army  together.  This  caused  great  dissatis- 
faction; but  on  the  10th  of  March,  1783,  the  so-called  "New- 
burgh  Address"  appeared.  This  anonymous  document  urged 
the  officers  of  the  army  not  to  separate  until  Congress  had 
done  justice  to  them;  and  on  the  22d  of  March  following, 


GRANTS  AND  LITIGATION  135 

Washington  used  his  influence  to  induce  Congress  to  grant 
the  officers  full  pay  for  the  ensuing  five  years.  This  was 
done;  but  as  the  treasury  was  empty,  certificates  of  indebt- 
edness were  issued  in  lieu  of  cash.  These  certificates  bore 
interest.  But  in  June,  1783,  300  mutineers  surrounded  the 
place  of  meeting  of  Congress,  and  demanded  a  settlement  of 
the  back  pay;  and  the  executive  council  of  Pennsylvania 
declined  to  disperse  them.  This  caused  Congress  to  leave 
Philadelphia  forever. 

Revolutionary  Pensions.  1  °  On  August  26,  1776,  Con- 
gress promised,  by  a  resolution,  to  the  officers  and  soldiers  of 
the  army  and  navy  who  might  be  disabled  in  the  service,  a 
pension,  to  continue  during  the  continuance  of  their  disa- 
bilities; and  on  June  7,  1785,  recommended  that  the  several 
States  should  make  provision  for  the  army,  navy  and  militia 
pensioners  resident  within  them,  to  be  reimbursed  by  Congress. 
On  September  29,  an  act  was  passed  providing  that  the  mili- 
tary pensions  which  had  been  granted  and  paid  by  the  States, 
respectively,  in  pursuance  of  the  foregoing  acts,  to  invalids 
who  were  wounded  and  disabled  during  the  late  war,  should 
be  paid  by  the  United  States  from  the  fourth  day  of  March, 

1789,  for  the  space  of  one  year;  and  the  act  of  March  26, 

1790,  appropriated  $96,000.72  for  paying  pensions  which  may 
become  due  to  invalids.  The  act  of  April  30,  1790,  provides 
for  one-half  pay  pensions  to  soldiers  of  the  regular  army  dis- 
abled while  in  line  of  duty;  and  the  act  of  July  16,  1790,  pro- 
vides that  the  military  pensions  which  have  been  granted  and 
paid  by  the  States  respectively  shall  be  continued  and  paid 
by  the  United  States  from  the  fourth  of  March,  1790,  for 
the  space  of  one  year. 

The  first  general  act  providing  for  the  pensioning  of  all 
disabled  in  the  actual  service  of  the  United  States  during  the 
Revolutionary  War  was  the  act  approved  March  10,  1806, 
which  was  to  remain  in  force  but  six  years,  but  was  subse- 
quently extended  and  kept  in  force  by  acts  of  April  25,  1812, 
May  15,  1820,  February  4,  1822,  and  May  24,  1828. !  » 

Land  Speculation.  Immediately  after  the  formation  of 
Buncombe  the  rush  began,  and  large  grants  were  issued  to 
Stokely  Donelson,  Waightstill  Avery,  William  Cathcart,  David 
Allison  and  John  Gray  Blount,  besides  many  others.  The 
Flowery  Garden  tract  on  Pigeon  was  regarded  as  of  the  finest 


136         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

quality  of  land,  and  was  granted  to  one  of  the  McDowells. 
As  the  boundaries  of  the  Cherokees  were  moved  westward 
the  same  greed  for  land  continued,  and  many  large  boundaries 
were  entered,  Robert  and  James  R.  Love  of  Waynesville  hav- 
ing obtained  tracts — those  belonging  to  the  Love  speculation 
in  1865  containing  in  Haywood  two  hundred  thousand,  in 
Jackson  fifty  thousand,  and  one  hundred  and  twenty-five 
thousand  acres,  in  two  tracts  in  Swain;  a  total  of  375,000 
acres  in  all. 

Enlargement  of  the  Western  Boundary.  x  2  In  1783 
(ch.  185)  the  western  boundary  was  enlarged  so  as  to  take 
in  all  lands  south  of  the  Virginia  line  and  west  of  the  Ten- 
nessee river  to  the  Mississippi,  then  down  that  stream  to 
the  35th  parallel  of  north  latitude;  thence  due  east  to  the 
Appalachian  mountains,  and  thence  with  them  to  the  ridge 
between  the  French  Broad  and  the  Nollechucky  [sic]  river, 
and  with  that  line  till  it  strikes  the  line  of  the  Indian  Hunt- 
ing grounds,  set  forth  in  chapter  132  of  the  laws  of  1778. 
This,  however,  was  superceded  by  the  Act  of  Cession,  1789, 
ch.  299,  accepted  by  Congress,  April  2,  1790,  Vol.  ii,  p.  85, 
note  on  p.  455. 

Entries  West  of  the  Mississippi  Void.  1 3  It  would  seem 
that  some  of  our  enterprising  citizens  had  been  entering  lands 
west  of  the  Mississippi  river  at  some  time  prior  to  1783,  for 
there  is  an  act  of  that  year  (ch.  185)  which  declares  that  all 
entries  of  land  heretofore  made,  or  grants  already  obtained, 
or  which  may  be  hereafter  obtained  in  consequence  of  the 
aforesaid  entries  of  land,  to  the  westward  of  the  line  last  above 
described  in  this  act  .  .  .  are  hereby  declared  to  be  null 
and  void.     .      .      .  " 

Entries  of  Indian  Lands  Void.  1 4  Section  5  of  the  act  of 
1783  (ch.  185)  reserves  certain  of  the  lands  to  the  Indians, 
which  embrace  part  of  the  enlarged  western  boundary,  with 
the  Pigeon  river  as  the  eastern  boundary,  including  the  ridge 
between  its  waters  and  those  of  the  Tuckaseegee  river  to  the 
South  Carolina  line.  All  entries  of  such  lands  were  void  and 
all  hunting  and  ranging  of  stock  thereon  were  prohibited.  But 
all  other  lands  not  reserved  to  the  Indians  were  subject  to  entry; 
but  at  the  price  of  five  pounds  per  hundred  acres. 

Entry  Taker's  Office  Closed  in  1784. x  5  By  chapter  196 
of  the  laws  of  1784  North  Carolina  passed  an  act  to  remove 


GRANTS  AND  LITIGATION  137 

all  doubts  as  to  the  ceded  territory  of  Tennessee  by  expressly 
retaining  jurisdiction  over  it  till  Congress  should  accept  it; 
but  until  Congress  did  accept  it  it  was  considered  "just  and 
right  that  no  further  entries  of  lands  within  the  territory 
aforesaid  should  be  allowed  until  the  Congress  [should]  refuse 
the  cession."  Therefore,  it  closed  the  entry  taker's  office  and 
declared  void  all  entries  made  subsequent  to  the  25th  of  May, 
1784,  John  Armstrong  having  been  the  entry-taker;  except 
"such  entries  of  lands  as  shall  be  made  by  the  commissioners, 
agents  and  surveyors  who  extended  the  lines  allotted  to  the 
Continental  officers  and  soldiers,  and  the  guards  and  hunters, 
chain-carriers  and  markers  "who  had  alloted  the  lands  to  the 
soldiers."  This,  however,  applied  only  to  the  ceded  territory 
of  Tennessee. 

Grants  to  John  Gray  Blount  and  David  Allison.     Two 
of  the  largest  grants  of  land  West  of  the  Blue  Ridge  were  to 
John  Gray  Blount  of  Beaufort,  North  Carolina,  and  David 
Allison.     The  grant  to  Blount  called  for  "320,640  acres  and 
is  dated  November  29,  1796. 1 6     It  began  in  the  Swannanoa 
gap  and  ran  to  Flat  creek,  and  thence  to  Swannanoa  river 
and  to  its  mouth;  thence  down  the  French  Broad  to  the 
Painted  Rock;  thence  to  the  Bald  mountain,  thence  to  Nolle- 
chucky  river,  or  Toe,  thence  to  Crabtree  creek,  and  thence 
to  the  beginning.     The  grant  to  David  Allison  is  for  250,240 
acres  and  is  dated  November  29,  1796. 1 7  l 8     This  land  lies  on 
Hominy  creek,   Mills    and  Davidson's  rivers,   Scott's  creek, 
Big  Pigeon  and  down  it  to  Twelve-Mile  creek  to  the  French 
Broad  and  to  the  beginning.     These  lands  were  sold  Septem- 
ber  19,   1798,  by  James  Hughey,  Sheriff  of  Buncombe,  for 
the  taxes  of  1796,  and  were  purchased  by  John  Strother  of 
Beaufort  for  £115,  15  shillings,  and  the  Sheriff  gave  him  a 
deed   dated  September   29,    1798. 19     Strother   sold   some   of 
these  lands  and  made  deeds  to  them,  and  in  each  deed  he 
recited  this  Sheriff's  deed  as  his  source  of  title.20     Strother 
was  the  friend  and  agent  of  John  Gray  Blount,  and  it  is  not 
clearly  known  why  this  large  body  of  land  was  suffered  to  go 
on  sale  for  the  nonpayment  of    taxes,  only  to  be  bought  in 
by  the  man  whose  duty  it  had  been,  presumably,  to  see  that 
the  taxes  were  paid.     But  it  is  certain  that,  on  the  22d  of 
November,  1806,  Strother  made  his  last  will  (describing  him- 
self as  of  Buncombe  county)  and  devised  all  of  the  lands  he 


1 38         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

had  received  through  Sheriff  Hughey's  deed  as  formerly  be- 
longing to  John  Gray  Blount  to  that  gentleman,  describing 
him  as  his  "beloved  friend."  This  will  was  admitted  to  pro- 
bate in  Davidson  County,  Tennessee,  March  1,  1816,  and 
later  on  in  Haywood  and  Madison  counties,  North  Carolina. 
It  was  executed  according  to  North  Carolina  laws  of  that 
date;  but  only  one  of  the  two  subscribing  witnesses  to  it  was 
examined  and  he  omitted  to  state  that  he  had  subscribed  his 
name  in  the  presence  of  the  other  subscribing  witness.  Chap- 
ter 52  of  the  Private  Laws  of  1885  validated  this  defective 
probate.  The  constitutionality  of  the  act  was  questioned  nev- 
ertheless, in  Vanderbilt  v.  Johnston  (141  N.  C,  p.  370)  but 
upheld  by  the  Supreme  Court  on  the  ground  that  only  the 
heirs  of  Blount  or  Strother  could  object  to  the  probate. 

Love  Speculation.  After  the  death  of  Strother,  Robert 
Love  became  the  agent  of  the  executors  of  J.  G.  Blount  for 
the  sale  of  these  lands 2 1,  but,  on  the  10th  of  December,  1834, 
these  executors  conveyed  what  was  left  of  the  Blount  lands 
to  Robert  and  James  R.  Love  of  Haywood  county  for  $3,000. 
This  deed,  however,  was  not  recorded  till  October  5,  1842,  it 
having  been  probated  by  the  late  R.  M.  Henry,  a  subscribing 
witness,  before  Richmond  M.  Pearson,  October  2,  1839,  who 
for  years  was  the  Chief  Justice  of  this  State. 2  2 

The  Cathcart  Grants.  Other  large  tracts  were  granted  to 
William  Cathcart  in  July,  1796,  33,280  at  the  head  of  Jona- 
than's creek,  and  covering  Oconalufty  and  Tuckaseegee  river; 
49,920,  on  Tuckaseegee  river  and  Cane  creek,  "passing  Wain's 
sugar  house  in  a  sugar  tree  cove, " 2  3  and  a  like  acreage  on 
Scott's  and  Cane  creeks.  Much  of  this  lay  west  of  the  divide 
between  the  headwaters  of  Pigeon  river  and  those  of  Tucka- 
seegee river  in  what  is  now  Jackson,  and  which  was  not  sub- 
ject to  entry  and  grant  in  July,  1796,  because  it  had  been 
reserved  to  the  Cherokee  Indians  by  North  Carolina  by  an 
act  of  1783.  (Sec.  2347,  Code  of  N.  C.)  The  State  being 
the  sovereign,  the  fee  in  such  lands  reverted  to  it  whenever 
a  new  treaty  with  the  Indians  removed  their  boundary  fur- 
ther west;  which  had  happened  by  the  treaty  of  Holston  made 
in  July,  1791  and  that  of  Tellico,  made  afterwards.  If  Cath- 
cart had  taken  out  a  new  grant  to  this  part  of  the  land  after 
that  treaty  his  title  thereto  would  have  been  good.  But  he 
did  not. 


James  Robert  Love. 


GRANTS  AND  LITIGATION  139 

Latimer  v.  Poteet.  The  question  as  to  the  validity  of  the 
Cathcart  grant  to  land  west  of  that  divide  came  up  in  Lati- 
mer v.  Poteet  (14  Peters  U.  S.  Reports,  p.  4),  in  which  it  was 
decided  that  while  there  may  have  been  doubt  as  to  the  loca- 
tion of  the  eastern  line  of  the  Cherokees — subsequently  known 
as  the  Meigs  and  Freeman  line — the  parties  to  that  treaty 
had  the  right  to  determine  disputes  as  to  its  location  and 
remove  uncertainties  and  defects,  and  that  private  rights  could 
not  be  interposed  to  prevent  the  exercise  of  that  power;  which 
was  tantamount  to  saying  that  Cathcart's  title  to  that  part 
of  the  land  was  null. 

Brown  v.  Brown.  2  4  But,  as  land  grew  more  valuable 
on  account  of  the  timber  on  it,  the  same  question  was  brought 
up  in  the  State  court  when  a  grant  was  taken  to  a  part  of  the 
land  which  had  been  granted  to  David  Allison  in  November, 
1796,  and  lay  west  of  the  reservation  divide  between  Pigeon 
and  Tuckaseegee.  This  land  had  been  sold  by  the  heirs  of 
Robert  Love,  who  held  under  the  deed  from  Sheriff  Hughey, 
of  September  29,  1798.  On  the  trial  of  the  case  in  the  Supe- 
rior Court,  the  judge  held  that  the  last  grant  was  valid  and  that 
the  original  grant  to  Allison  in  1796  was  invalid.  On  appeal, 
great  consternation  was  caused  in  the  fall  of  1888  by  the 
decision  of  the  Supreme  Court  (in  Brown  v.  Brown,  103  N.  C,  p. 
213)  to  the  effect  that  all  grants  of  land  extending  west  of  the 
"dividing  ridge  between  the  waters  of  Pigeon  river  and  Tuck- 
aseegee river  to  the  southern  boundary  of  this  State,  were 
utterly  void"  (Code  N.  C,  sections  2346-47)  because  when 
granted  they  were  "within  the  boundary  prescribed  of  the  lands 
set  apart  to  and  for  the  Cherokee  Indians."  It  was  further 
held  "that  the  treaty  of  Holston,  concluded  on  the  2d  day  of 
July,  1791,  between  the  United  States  and  the  Cherokee 
Indians,  did  not  "extinguish  the  title  and  right  of  those  Indians 
to  the  territory  embracing  the  lands  embraced  by  the  grant 
in  question" — that  to  David  Allison,  of  date  29th  November, 
1796.  Immediately  there  was  a  rush  to  enter  and  secure  grants 
to  all  lands  to  which  grants  had  been  issued  west  of  the  divid- 
ing ridge  between  the  Pigeon  and  the  Tuckaseegee.  Where 
would  the  effect  of  that  decision  reach?  No  one  knew.  But, 
on  a  petition  for  a  rehearing,  Chief  Justice  Merrimon  discov- 
ered "among  a  vast  number  of  very  old  uncurrent  statutes" 
one  (Acts  1784,  1  Pot.  Rev.,  ch.  202)  that  required  surveyors 


140         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

in  the  "eastern  part  of  the  State"  to  survey  lands  that  any 
person  or  persons  "have  entered  or  may  hereafter  enter"; 
which  was  afterwards  extended  (Acts  1794,  1  Pot.  Rev.,  ch. 
422;  Haywood's  Manual,  p.  188)  to  apply  to  "all  lands  in  this 
State  lying  to  the  eastward  of  the  line  of  the  ceded  territory," 
which  was  construed  to  mean  "all  the  lands  of  this  State  not 
specially  devoted  to  some  particular  purpose,  and  the  impli- 
cation intended  was  that  they  should  be  subject  to  entry  and 
survey  just  as  were  the  lands  mentioned  in  the  statutes 
amended, "  it  having  been  the  purpose  to  embrace  "the  lands  so 
acquired  from  the  Cherokee  Indians."  Hence,  the  words, 
"lying  to  the  eastward  of  the  line  of  ceded  territory";  this 
was  the  line  separating  this  State  from  Tennessee  which  had 
been  ceded  to  the  United  States  in  1789;  while  the  land  ac- 
quired from  the  Indians  by  the  treaty  of  Holston  "lay  imme- 
diately to  the  eastward  of  a  part  of  that  line."  In  the  lan- 
guage of  the  chief  justice,  "it  is  fortunate  that  it  has  been 
discovered,  as  it  rendered  the  land  subject  to  entry  and  makes 
valid  and  sustains  the  grant  in  question,  under  which,  no 
doubt,  many  excellent  people  derive  title  to  their  land." 
Upon  the  rehearing  (106  N.  C,  451)  the  Supreme  court  held 
that  by  an  act  of  1777  it  was  made  lawful  for  any  citizen  of 
the  State  "to  enter  any  lands  not  granted  before  the  fourth 
of  July,  1776,  which  have  accrued  or  shall  accrue  to  this  State 
by  treaty  or  conquest";  and  that  the  title  of  the  Indians  to 
all  lands  east  of  the  Holston  treaty  line  were  extinguished. 
This  line  had  been  fixed  by  the  Meigs  and  Freeman  survey, 
which  location  the  State  could  not  without  breach  of  faith 
question;  and  the  land  in  controversy,  while  lying  west  of  the 
reservation  of  1784,  was  east  of  the  Meigs  and  Freeman  sur- 
vey.    This  settled  the  dispute. 

Waightstill  Avery  Grants.  About  1785  Hon.  Waight- 
still  Avery  of  Burke  took  out  "hundreds  of  grants,"  gener- 
ally for  640-acre  tracts,  covering  almost  the  entire  valley  of 
North  Toe  river,  from  its  source  to  somewhere  below  Toe- 
cane,  there  being,  here  and  there,  along  the  valley,  some 
older  grant  wedged  in  between  his  tracts.  He  took  out  grants 
also  for  lands  on  most  all  of  the  tributaries  of  the  North  Toe, 
including  the  lower  part  of  Squirrel  creek,  of  Roaring  creek,' 
of  Henson's  creek  and  of  Three-Mile  creek25  and  also  along 
the  lower  valley  of  South  Toe  and  of  Linville  river,  down  to 


GRANTS  AND  LITIGATION  141 

the  Falls,  and  the  upper  valley  of  Pigeon  in  Haywood  county 
and  of  Mills  river  in  Henderson  and  Transylvania.  . 
William  Cathcart  took  out  in  1795  two  large  grants,  one 
known  as  the  "99,000-Acre  Tract,"  and  the  other  as  the 
"59,000-Acre  Tract,"  which  two  large  boundaries  covered 
practically  all  of  Mitchell  county  and  of  Avery  county,  except 
some  tracts  along  the  Blue  Ridge.  .  .  .  "  2  6  They  also 
covered  about  all  that  had  been  previously  granted  to  Waigh- 
still  Avery.  For  the  litigation  that  subsequently  ensued  see 
"Cranberry  Mine"  under  chapter  on  "Mines  and  Mining." 
Many  grants  were  also  made  to  William  Lenoir  and  others. 

Cherokee  Lands.  By  the  act  of  1819 2  7  no  portion  of 
the  lands  recently  acquired  from  the  Cherokees  was  required 
to  be  surveyed  except  such  that,  in  the  opinion  of  the  commis- 
sioners appointed  for  that  purpose,  would  sell  for  fifty  cents 
per  acre  and  over,  while  the  rest  was  reserved  for  future  dis- 
position to  be  made  by  a  subsequent  legislature,  and  the  act 
of  1826  required  such  lands  to  be  classified  into  three  tracts, 
as  we  have  already  seen.  This  was  to  be  sold  at  auction, 
and  in  the  meantime,  no  land  not  subject  to  survey — that  is 
not  worth  fifty  cents  an  acre  or  more — was  subject  to  entry. 
But  by  the  act  of  1835 28  all  such  lands  as  were  not  worth 
fifty  cents  an  acre  were  made  subject  to  entry.  Under  the 
law  of  1836 29  the  Cherokee  lands  were  required  to  be  laid 
off  into  districts,  which  were  to  be  numbered,  and  divided  into 
tracts  of  from  fifty  to  four  hundred  acres  each,  the  first  class 
of  which  was  to  be  sold  at  auction  for  not  less  than  $4  per  acre, 
the  second  class  for  not  less  than  $2,  the  third  class  for  not 
less  than  $1,  the  fourth  cla^s  for  not  less  than  fifty  cents,  and 
the  fifth  class  for  not  less  than  25  cents  per  acre.  All  the  rest 
of  the  Cherokee  lands  which  were  not  considered  by  the  com- 
missioners to  be  worth  at  auction  more  than  20  cents  per 
acre  were  subject  to  entry.  The  surveyors  were  to  note  all 
the  mines,  mill  sites,  etc.,  on  each  tract,  and  three  maps  were 
to  be  made,  showing  the  lands  surveyed  and  the  "vacant 
and  unsurveyed  lands, "  one  of  which  was  to  be  deposited  in  the 
office  of  the  governor,  another  in  the  office  of  the  secretary  of 
state  at  Raleigh,  and  the  third  in  the  office  of  the  register  of 
deeds  in  Franklin,  Macon  county. 

Act  for  the  Relief  of  Purchasers  of  Lands.  Under 
this  act  of  1836  several  purchasers  found  that  they  could  not 


142         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

pay  for  the  lands  bid  in  by  them  at  the  auction  sales,  and  in 
1844-45  another  act  was  passed  providing  that  such  persons 
might  surrender  such  lands,  after  which  the  lands  were  to  be 
reassessed  by  commissioners,  when  they  could  be  repur- 
chased by  the  former  bidders  at  the  new  valuation  by  giving 
bonds  with  good  security,  if  they  so  desired,  and  if  not,  then 
they  could  be  sold  at  the  new  valuation  to  anyone.  This 
law  also  provided  for  the  sale  of  such  lands  as  had  not  been 
sold  at  all  under  the  first  appraisement  of  their  value,  and  for 
the  relief  of  such  poor  and  homeless  people  as  had  settled  on 
the  less  valuable  lands  and  had  made  improvements  thereon 
in  the  hope  of  being  able  to  pay  for  them  at  some  future  time 
and  had  been  unable  to  do  so,  as  well  as  for  insolvent  people 
who  had  been  unable  to  pay  for  lands  they  had  bought.  New 
valuations  were  to  be  made  and  certificates  given  to  such 
persons,  which  certificates  gave  them  preemption  rights  for  the 
purchase  of  such  lands  upon  giving  good  bonds  for  the  payment 
of  the  purchase  price.  Much  of  the  best  lands  were  subse- 
quently held  under  these  "Occupation  Tracts,"  they  having 
the  refusal  of  the  lands  they  had  settled  on  and  improved. 
Floating  Entries.  Such  entries  were  those  which  stated  in 
the  entry  that  land  beginning  on  a  natural  object  in  a  certain 
district  had  been  entered  but,  without  further  description,  they 
were  void  against  enterers  whose  surveys  covered  it. 

NOTES. 

lPotter's  Revisal,  p.  275. 

2Ibid.,  p.  280. 

*Melton  v.  Munday,  (64  N.  C.  Rep.,  p.  295);  Waugh  v.  Richardson,  8  Ired  Law,  (30  N.  C, 
p.  470). 

^Potter's  Revisal,  p.  463. 

52  Vol.  Rev.  St.  1837,  p.  201. 

6Ibid.,  pp.  210-11. 

'Potter's  Revisal,  p.  280. 

sibid.,  p.  355. 

9Potter's  Revisal,  p.  356. 

1  "Potter's  Revisal,  p.  442. 

"From  "Dropped  Stitches",  pp.  71-72. 

"Potter's  Revisal,  p.  435. 

"Ibid.,  p.  456. 

"Ibid.,  p.  436. 

"Potter's  Revisal,  p.  457. 

"Book  No.  4,  p.  230. 

"Book  2,  p.  458. 

"43,534  acres  already  granted  are  excepted  from  this  boundary. 

"Book  4,  p.  230. 

20The  lands  embraced  in  this  sale  aggregated  one  million  and  seventy-four  thousand 
acres.    The  tax  title  stood  all  tests.     Love  v.  Wilbourn,  5  Ired.,  N.  C.  Rep.,  p.  344. 

"Will  BookE,  p.  42. 

22Book  22,  p.  88. 

"Book  22,  p.  393. 

"Daniel  Webster  represented  the  defendant  in  this  case,  and  Chief  Justice  Roger  B. 
Taney  filed  a  dissenting  opinion. 

25So  called  because  it  is  almost  exactly  three  miles  in  length. 

"From  letter  of  December  5,  1912,  from  Hon.  A.  C.  Avery  to  J.  P.  A. 

"Rev.  St.  1837,  Vol.  II,  p.  190. 

28Ibid.,  p.  209. 

29Ibid.,  p.  210. 

Note  :     For  Forge  Bounty  grants  see  ch.  293,  laws  1788,  Potter's  Revisal,  p.  592. 


CHAPTER  VIII 

COUNTY  HISTORY 

Buncombe  County.  l  In  1781  or  1782  settlers  from  the 
blockhouse  at  Old  Fort,  McDowell  county  as  it  is  now,  crossed 
the  mountains  to  the  head  of  the  Swannanoa  river,  and  became 
trespassers  on  the  Cherokee  territory,  the  Blue  Ridge  at  that 
time  being  the  boundary  line.  Samuel  Davidson,  his  wife  and 
child  were  among  the  first.  They  brought  a  female  negro 
slave  with  them,  and  settled  a  short  distance  east  of  Gudger's 
ford  of  Swannanoa  river,  and  near  what  is  now  Azalia.  He 
was  soon  afterwards  killed  by  Indians,  and  his  wife  and  child 
and  slave  hurried  through  the  mountains  back  to  Old  Fort. 
An  expedition  to  avenge  his  death  set  out,  with  the  late 
Major  Ben.  Burgin,  who  died  at  Old  Fort  in  November,  1874, 
at  the  age  of  ninety-five,  among  the  number  and  conquered 
the  Indians  at  the  mouth  of  Rock  House  creek.  By  this 
time,  however,  several  other  settlements  had  been  effected 
on  the  Swannanoa  from  its  head  to  its  mouth  by  the  Alex- 
anders, Davidsons,  Smiths  and  others,  the  earliest  being  about 
the  mouth  of  Bee  Tree  creek,  a  little  above  this  being  the 
Edmundson  field,  the  first  cleared  in  Buncombe.  Soon  an- 
other company  passed  through  Bull  gap  and  settled  on  upper 
Reems  creek,  while  still  others  came  in  by  way  of  what  is 
now  Yancey  county  and  settled  on  lower  Reems  and  Flat 
creeks.  Some  of  the  people  who  had  been  with  Sevier  at 
Watauga  settlement  settled  on  the  French  Broad  above  the 
mouth  of  Swannanoa,  and  on  Hominy  creek.  Some  from 
South  Carolina  settled  still  higher  on  the  French  Broad. 

The  Cheery  Name  of  Buncombe.  2  The  Swannanoa  was 
now  recognized  as  the  dividing  line  between  Burke  and  Ruth- 
erford counties,  from  portions  of  which  counties  Buncombe 
was  subsequently  formed,  and  named  for  Edward  Buncombe, 
who  had  been  a  colonel  in  the  Revolutionary  War. 3  In  1791 
David  Vance  and  William  Davidson,  the  former  representing 
Burke  and  the  latter  Rutherford,  agreed  upon  the  formation 
of  a  new  county  from  portions  of  both  these  counties  west  of 
the  Blue  Ridge,  its  western  boundary  to  be  the  Tennessee  line. 

(143) 


144         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

First  Court  at  the  Gum  Spring.  4  In  April,  1792,  at  the 
residence  of  Col.  William  Davidson  on  the  south  bank  of  the 
Swannanoa,  half  a  mile  above  its  mouth,  subsequently  called 
the  Gum  Spring  place,  Buncombe  county  was  organized,  pur- 
suant to  the  act  which  had  been  ratified  January  14,  1792. 
On  December  31,  1792,  another  act  recited  that  the  com- 
missioners provided  for  in  the  first  act  had  failed  to  fix  "the 
center  and  agree  where  public  buildings"  should  be  erected, 
and  appointed  Joshua  Inglish,  Archibald  Neill,  James  Wilson, 
Augustin  Shote,  George  Baker  and  John  Dillard  of  Buncombe, 
and  Wm.  Morrison  of  Burke,  commissioners,  in  place  of  Phil- 
lip Hoodenpile,  William  Brittain,  Wm.  Whitson,  James  Brit- 
tain  and  Lemuel  Clayton,  who  had  failed  to  agree,  to  select 
a  county  seat.  There  was  rivalry  for  this  position,  many 
contending  for  the  "Steam  Saw  Mill  Place  on  the  road  after- 
wards known  as  the  Buncombe  Turnpike  Road  about  three 
miles  south  of  Asheville,  where  Dr.  J.  F.  E.  Hardy  re- 
sided at  the  time  of  his  death,"  says  Dr.  Sondley  in  his 
Asheville's  Centenary.  They  selected  the  present  site,  which 
at  first  was  called  Morristown.  As  the  Superior  Court  was 
at  this  time  held  at  Morganton,  five  men  from  Buncombe 
were  required  to  serve  there  as  jurors,  for  the  July  term, 
1792.  These  were  Matthew  Patton,  Wm.  Davidson,  David 
Vance,  Lambert  Clayton  and  James  Brittain.  The  first 
court  house  stood  in  the  middle  of  the  street  upon  the  public 
square  at  the  head  of  what  is  now  Patton  avenue,  and  was  of 
logs.  The  first  county  court  held  there  was  on  the  third  Mon- 
day in  July, 1793.  In  January,  1796,  commissioners  were  ap- 
pointed to  lay  off  a  plan  for  public  buildings;  but  in  April,  1802, 
the  grand  jury  complained  that  the  county  had  no  title  to  the 
land  on  which  the  jail,  etc.,  stood,  and  in  April,  1805,  steps 
were  taken  to  secure  land  for  a  public  square.  In  April, 
1807,  the  county  trustee,  or  treasurer,  was  ordered  to  pay 
Robert  Love  one  pound  for  registering  five  deeds  made  by 
individuals  for  a  public  square.  .  .  .  The  next  court 
house  was  made  of  brick,  a  little  further  east,  in  the  erection 
of  which  the  late  Nicholas  W.  Woodfin,  while  a  poor  boy, 
carried  brick  and  mortar.  This  gave  way  to  a  handsome 
brick  building  fronting  on  Main  street,  which  was  destroyed 
by  fire  on  the  26th  day  of  January,  1865.  Some  years  later 
a  small  one-story  brick   structure  was   built  nearly  in  front 


COUNTY  HISTORY  145 

of  W.  O.  Wolf's  storeroom,  the  late  Rev.  B.  H.  Merrimon 
having  been  the  contractor.  In  1876  this  gave  way  to  a 
larger  building  with  three  stories,  J.  A.  Tennent  being  the 
architect.  In  the  erection  of  this  a  workman  fell  from  the 
southwest  corner  of  the  tower  to  the  ground  and  was  killed. 
His  name  has  been  forgotten.  The  first  jail  was  succeeded 
by  a  brick  building  now  a  part  of  the  Library  building;  but 
a  new  jail  was  built  afterwards  on  the  site  of  the  present 
city  hall,  its  site  being  sold  to  the  city  when  the  Eagle  street 
jail  was  built  some  years  afterwards.  The  first  jail  was  a 
very  poor  structure,  every  sheriff  from  1799  to  1811  com- 
plaining of  its  insufficiency.  In  1867  the  county  began  to 
sell  off  portions  of  the  public  square  on  the  north  and  south 
sides,  thus  reducing  it  to  its  present  dimensions. 

Morristown.  John  Burton's  grant  was  "by  private  con- 
tract laid  out  .  .  .  for  a  town  called  Morristown,  the 
county  town  of  Buncombe  county,  into  42  lots,  containing, 
with  the  exception  of  the  two  at  the  southern  end,  one-half 
an  acre  each,  lying  on  both  sides  of  a  street  33  feet  wide," 
which  runs  where  the  southern  part  of  North  Main  street 
and  the  northern  part  of  South  Main  street  now  are. 5  There 
were  two  cross  streets  across  the  public  square.  "Nobody^ 
seems  to  know  why  the  name  of  Morristown  was  bestowed 
upon  the  place  .  .  .  but  there  is  a  seemingly  authentic 
tradition  that  it  was  named  for  Robert  Morris,  who  success- 
fully financed  the  American  Revolution,  yet  himself  died  a 
bankrupt."6  About  this  time  he  owned  large  bodies  of  land 
in  Western  North  Carolina;  indeed  it  is  shown  in  the  record 
of  one  case  in  the  Federal  Court  here  (Asheville)  that  Robert 
Tate  of  York  county,  Pennsylvania,  and  William  Tate,  of 
Burke  county,  N.  C,  conveyed  to  him  in  one  deed  198  tracts 
of  land,  only  one  tract  of  which,  containing  70,400  acres  and 
lying  in  what  are  now  Yancey,  Burke,  and  McDowell  coun- 
ties, was  involved  in  that  litigation.  The  State  grant  for 
these  lands  was  issued  to  Robert  and  William  Tate  on  May 
30,  1795,  and  they  conveyed  the  same  lands  to  Morris  on 
August  15  of  the  same  year.  "The  Tates  were  evidently  the 
agents  of  Morris.  .  .  .  Morris  was  one  of  the  heroes  of 
the  Revolution,  and  .  .  .  it  is  small  wonder  that  .  .  . 
the  people  .  .  .  should  name  it  for  him."  His  will 
(dated  in  1804)  was  probated  in  McDowell  county  on  April 

W.  N.C. 10 


146         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

21,  1891.  In  November  1797,  the  village  was  incorporated 
by  the  legislature  as  Asheville  in  honor  of  Samuel  Ashe  of 
New  Hanover,  governor. 

Old  Asheville.  On  Thanksgiving  Day,  1895,  Miss  Anna 
C.  Aston,  Miss  Frances  L.  Patton  and  other  ladies  published 
a  "Woman's  Edition"  of  the  Asheville  Daily  Citizen.  It  con- 
tained much  valuable  and  important  information  of  that 
city.  But  in  February,  1898,  Foster  A.  Sondley,  Esq.,  a  de- 
scendant of  the  Fosters  and  Alexanders  of  Buncombe  county, 
and  a  leading  member  of  the  Asheville  Bar,  published  a  his- 
torical sketch  of  Buncombe  county  and  Asheville,  contain- 
ing practically  all  that  could  then  be  ascertained  concerning 
the  early  history  of  this  section.  Hon.  Theo.  F.  Davidson 
and  the  late  Albert  T.  Summey  also  contributed  their  recol- 
lections. There  was  a  woodcut  reproduction  of  an  oil  paint- 
ing of  Asheville  by  F.  S.  Duncanson,  which  was  taken  from 
Beaucatcher,  and  it  appears  that  there  were  not  more  than 
twenty  five  residences  in  1850  that  were  visible  from  that 
commanding  eminence,  all  the  buildings,  including  outhouses, 
not  exceeding  forty,  and  they  were  between  Atkin,  Market 
and  Church  streets.  The  painting  itself,  now  owned  by  Mrs. 
Martha  B.  Patton,  shows  five  brick  buildings,  the  old  Pres- 
byterian church,  on  the  site  of  the  present  one,  with  the  cupola 
on  its  eastern  end,  because  the  street  ran  there;  the  little  old 
Episcopal  church,  on  the  site  of  the  burned  Trinity;  the  old 
jail,  standing  where  the  city  hall  now  stands;  Ravenscroft 
school,  and  the  Rowley  house,  now  occupied  by  the  Drhumor 
building.  The  old  jail  was  three  stories  high.  The  other 
buildings  were  white  wooden  structures,  and  included  the 
central  portion  of  the  old  Eagle  hotel  and  the  old  Buck  hotel. 
Mr.  Ernest  Israel  also  has  a  similar  picture. 

Dr.  J.  S.  T.  Baird's  facile  pen  has  given  us  an  equally  vivid 
picture  of  Asheville  in  his  "Historical  Sketches  of  Early 
Days,"  published  in  the  Asheville  Saturday  Register  during 
January,  February  and  March,  1905,  as  it  appeared  in  1840. 
He  records  the  facts  that  the  white  population  then  did  not 
exceed  300,  and  the  total  number  of  slaves,  owned  by  eight  or 
nine  persons,  did  not  exceed  200.  In  the  400  acres  embracing 
the  northeastern  section  of  the  city,  between  the  angle  formed 
by  North  Main  and  Woodfin  streets,  he  recalled  but  two 
dwellings,   those  of  Hon.   N.  W.   Woodfin  and  Rev.   David 


COUNTY  HISTORY  147 


McAnally,  both  on  Woodfin  street.  There  was  an  old  tan- 
nery and  a  little  school  house  near  the  beginning  of  what  is 
now  Merrimon  avenue,  the  school  having  been  taught  by 
Miss  Katy  Parks,  who  afterwards  became  Mrs.  Katy  Bell, 
mother  of  Rev.  George  Bell  of  Haw  Creek.  This  400-acre 
boundary,  now  so  thickly  settled,  was  then  owned  by  James 
W.  Patton,  James  M.  Smith,  Samuel  Chunn,  N.  W.  Wood- 
fin  and  Israel  Baird.  There  was  a  thirty-acre  field  where 
Doubleday  now  is,  and  was  called  the  "old  gallows  field," 
because  Sneed  and  Henry  had  been  hanged  there  about  1835. 
Standing  south  of  Woodfin  and  East  of  North  and  South  Main 
streets  to  the  southern  boundary,  there  were  but  eight  resi- 
dences, not  including  negro  and  outhouses. 

Southwest  Asheville.  Just  north  of  Aston  street  was 
the  brick  store  of  Patton  &  Osborne,  and  later  Patton  & 
Summey,  adjoining  which  was  the  tailor  shop  of  "Uncle" 
Manuel,  one  of  James  W.  Patton's  slaves.  Then  came  a 
white  house  which  was  kept  for  guests  when  there  was  an 
overflow  crowd  at  the  Eagle  hotel.  Between  this  house  and 
the  Daylight  store,  J.  M.  Smith  some  years  later  erected  a  two- 
story  building  for  the  use  of  Dr.  T.  C.  Lester,  a  physician  who 
came  from  South  Carolina  and  settled  here  about  1845.  He 
kept  a  sort  of  drug  store,  the  first  of  its  kind  in  Asheville. 
The  negroes  called  it  a  shot-i-carry-pop,  in  their  effort  to  call 
it  an  apothecary  shop.  Hilliard  Hall  now  stands  where  it 
stood.  Just  above  was  the  residence  and  place  of  business  of 
James  B.  Mears,  now  the  Daylight  store.  Then  came  Drake 
Jarrett's  place — better  known  as  the  Coche7  place  "where 
for  many  years  the  little  short-legged  *  monsieur'  and  his 
'madam'  dealt  out  that  which  Solomon  says  biteth  like  a 
serpent  and  stingeth  like  an  adder."  Thus  was  reached  what 
was  the  Chunn  property,  which,  beginning  at  the  lower  side 
of  T.  C.  Smith's  drug  store,  ran  straight  back  to  Church 
street.  Samuel  Chunn  had  lived  in  a  large  brick  house  which 
fronted  north,  and  which  was  later  replaced  by  a  building 
used  as  a  banking  house,  known  as  the  Bank  building.  This 
was  about  1845.  The  Asheville  branch  of  the  Bank  of  Cape 
Fear  occupied  it  till  the  Civil  War  period.  The  residence  of 
A.  B.  Chunn  stood  on  the  corner  now  occupied  by  Pat  Mcln- 
tyre's  grocery  store.  An  old  stable  stood  at  the  corner  of 
Patton  and  Lexington  avenues. 


148         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Church  Street.  The  grounds  of  the  Methodist  church 
extended  from  Patton  avenue  and  Church  street  to  the  Aston 
property  and  several  rods  back,  forming  an  oblong  plat  of 
several  acres.  On  the  corner  of  Patton  avenue  and  Church 
street  stood  a  large  brick  building  used  as  a  boarding  house 
in  connection  with  the  school  for  girls  which  was  taught  for 
many  years  in  the  basement  of  the  Methodist  church.  The 
late  William  Johnston  afterwards  bought  and  occupied  this 
building  as  a  residence.  The  land  south  of  the  Methodist 
church  was  used  as  a  cemetery  till  long  after  the  Civil  War. 

The  Presbyterian  church  of  that  day  stood  nearly  where 
the  one  of  this  day  stands,  opposite  that  of  the  Methodist 
church,  and  its  cemetery  extended  down  to  Aston  street. 
Near  where  Asheland  and  Patton  avenues  join  the  late  James 
M.  Smith  had  a  large  barn,  which  stood  in  a  ten-acre  field. 

Northwest  Asheville.  In  the  angle  formed  by  North  Main 
street  and  Patton  avenue,  in  1840,  there  were  not  many  houses. 
Beginning  at  the  north  end,  Mrs.  Cassada — "Granny  Cassie" — 
occupied  a  one-room  house  which  stood  where  the  Rankin  tan 
house  afterwards  stood.  She  baked  and  sold  ginger  cakes, 
and  brewed  cider.  Coming  up  North  Main  street  was  a 
house  built  by  Israel  Baird  in  1839,  now  known  as  the  Brandt 
property.  Israel  Baird  had  lived  two  and  a  half  miles  north 
of  Asheville  at  what  is  now  the  Way  place,  but  about  1838 
he  bought  40  acres,  commencing  at  the  junction  of  North 
Main  street  and  Merrimon  avenue,  running  west  to  the  pres- 
ent auditorium,  thence  to  Starnes  avenue  and  thence  back 
to  North  Main  street.  The  only  other  building  within  this 
area  was  the  wooden  store  and  shoe-shop  opposite  the  old 
Buck  hotel,  now  occupied  by  the  Langren  hotel,  and  the 
barns,  stables,  sheds  and  cribs  of  J.  M.  Smith,  which  cov- 
ered a  large  portion  of  the  lot  lying  between  West  College 
street,  Walnut  and  Water  streets.  From  the  foregoing  it  is 
evident  that  the  artist  Duncanson  did  not  get  all  the  houses 
into  his  oil  painting  of  1850. 

East  and  South  Asheville.  In  these  sections  of  the  town 
the  land  was  owned  by  James  M.  Smith,  James  W.  Patton, 
Montraville  Patton,  Dr.  J.  F.  E.  Hardy,  Mrs.  Morrison  and 
Thomas  L.  Gaston,  principally.  The  old  Buck  Hotel,  a  small 
frame  building  near  it,  what  was  known  as  the  Dunlap  store, 
the  court  house,  the  jail,  the  office  of  the  Highland  Messenger 


COUNTY  HISTORY  149 

on  what  is  now  North  Pack  Square,  east  of  the  Gazette  News 
office,  were  then  the  oldest  houses  in  town.  The  old  jail  stood 
where  the  new  Legal  building  now  stands;  the  court  house 
stood  where  Vance's  monument  stands,  with  the  whipping 
post  and  stocks  immediately  in  its  rear.  Mrs.  Rose  Morri- 
sons' residence  occupied  the  site  now  covered  by  the  present 
court  house,  while  the  store  of  Montraville  Patton  occupied 
the  corner  now  used  by  the  Holt  Furniture  Company.  Lower 
down  on  South  Main  street  lived  William  Coleman  in  a  brick 
building  in  a  part  of  which  the  post-office  was  kept.  Later  on 
Col.  R.  W.  Pulliam  lived  there  and  Rankin  and  Pulliam  did 
a  large  mercantile  business.  Just  below  this,  embowered  in 
green  vines  and  fragrant  flowers,  was  the  stylish  wooden 
dwelling  occupied  for  years  by  Dr.  J.  F.  E.  Hardy,  and  was 
later  to  fall  into  such  disrepute  as  to  be  called  "Greasy  Cor- 
ner." This,  however,  was  about  1890  after  the  handsome 
old  residence  had  for  years  been  used  as  a  negro  hotel  and 
restaurant.     On  it  now  stands  the  large  Thrash  Building. 

Eagle  Hotel.  Just  below  Eagle  street  stood  and  still 
stands  the  building  then  and  for  years  afterwards  known  far 
and  wide  as  the  Eagle  hotel,  then  owned  by  James  Patton 
and  later  by  his  son  James  W.  Patton.  There  were  a  large 
blacksmith  shop  just  below  this  hotel,  where  Sycamore  street 
now  leaves  South  Main,  and  a  tannery  on  the  branch  back 
of  and  below  this.  Joshua  Roberts  lived  on  the  hill  where 
Mrs.  Buchanan  lived  until  her  recent  death,  and  it  was  the 
last  house  on  that  side  of  the  street. 

Large  Land  Owners.  In  the  angle  formed  by  Patton 
avenue  and  South  Main  street,  according  to  Dr.  Baird,  the 
lands  were  owned  principally  by  James  M.  Smith,  Col.  James 
M.  Alexander,  James  W.  Patton,  and  Samuel  Chunn,  but 
James  B.  Mears  and  Drake  Jarrett  owned  from  T.  C.  Smith's 
drug  store  down  to  and  including  Mears'  Daylight  store.  The 
Methodist  and  Presbyterian  churches  owned  and  occupied 
the  land  now  used  by  them  for  their  present  places  of  wor- 
ship. Within  this  area  were  eleven  residences,  two  stores, 
two  churches,  two  stables,  one  tanyard  and  one  barn.  At 
the  corporate  line  on  South  Main  street,  at  the  forks  of  the 
road,  lived  Standapher  Rhodes,  and  north  of  him  was  the 
blacksmith  shop  of  Williamson  Warlick  whose  sign  read : 
"Williamson  Warlick  Axes,"  his  axes  being  especially  fine. 


150         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

He  died  and  was  succeeded  there  by  Elias  Triplett.  Two 
hundred  yards  north  was  the  home  of  Rev.  William  Mor- 
rison, a  Presbyterian  minister  and  the  father  of  Mr.  Theo- 
dore S.  Morrison.  J.  M.  Alexander  afterwards  lived  in  this 
house.  Then  came  a  tannery  of  J.  M.  Smith's,  while  David 
Halford  occupied  a  residence  at  the  corner  of  South  Main 
and  Southside  avenue,  known  as  the  Goodlake  curve  because 
of  the  reverse  curve  of  the  street  railway  tracks  at  that  point. 
There  was  a  frame  house  about  halfway  between  the  Hal- 
ford  house  and  Mrs.  M.  E.  Hilliard's  residence.  Mrs.  Hil- 
liard's  home  site  was  formerly  occupied  by  a  large  two-story 
frame  house  which  stood  upon  the  street,  and  was  occupied 
at  one  time  by  Col.  J.  M.  Alexander  before  he  removed  to 
"Alexander's, "  ten  miles  down  the  French  Broad  river.  Then 
John  Osborne  occupied  the  Alexnader  (Hilliard)  house  for  a 
long  time,  to  be  followed  by  Isaac  McDunn,  a  tailor.  It  was 
finally  bought  by  the  late  Dr.  W.  L.  Hilliard,  and  occupied 
as  a  residence.  From  his  house  to  Aston  street  there  was  no 
dwelling,  though  a  large  stable  belonging  to  the  Eagle  hotel 
stood  where  now  stands  the  Swannanoa-Berkeley  Hotel. 

George  Swain.  He  was  born  in  Roxborough,  Mass.,  June 
17,  1763,  and  on  September  1,  1784,  he  left  Providence,  R.  I., 
for  Charleston,  S.  C;  but  as  a  storm  had  required  that  much 
of  the  cargo  be  thrown  over  board,  Swain  arrived  at  Charles- 
ton penniless.  He  walked  to  Augusta,  Ga.,  where  he  lived  a 
year,  and  then  removed  to  Wilkes,  afterwards  Oglethorpe 
county,  where  he  engaged  in  hat-making,  and  was  a  member 
of  the  legislature  of  Georgia  five  years,  and  of  the  Constitu- 
tional convention  held  at  Louisville  about  1795,  in  which  year 
he  moved  to  Buncombe  county  and  settled  in  or  near  Ashe- 
ville,  soon  afterward  marrying  Carolina  Lowrie,  a  sister  of 
Joel  Lane,  founder  of  the  city  of  Raleigh,  and  of  Jesse  Lane, 
father  of  Gen.  Joseph  Lane,  Democratic  candidate  for  Vice- 
President  in  1860.  She  was  the  widow  of  a  man  who  had 
been  killed  by  the  Indians.  In  the  early  part  of  his  residence 
George  Lane  lived  at  the  head  of  Beaverdam  creek,  where  the 
late  Rev.  Thomas  Stradley  afterwards  resided  and  died,  and 
where,  on  January  4,  1801,  David  Lowrie  Swain,  afterwards 
judge,  governor  and  president  of  the  University,  was  born. 
Here  the  future  statesman  saw  the  first  wagon  ever  in 
Buncombe  brought   up  the  washed  out   bed   of  Beaverdam 


COUNTY  HISTORY  151 

creek  in  default  of  a  road.  At  this  sight,  "he  incontinently 
took  to  his  heels  and  rallied  only  when  safely  entrenched 
behind  his  father's  house,  a  log  double  cabin."  "About  1805 
a  post-route  was  established  on  the  recently  constructed  road 
through  Buncombe  county.  ...  In  1806,  the  post- 
office  at  Asheville  was  made  the  distributing  office  for  Georgia, 
Tennessee  and  the  two  Carolinas,  and  George  Swain  became 
postmaster,"  the  commission  issuing  in  1807.  He  was  a  rul- 
ing elder  in  the  Presbyterian  church.  He  used  to  say  his 
father  was  a  Presbyterian  and  an  Arminian,  and  his  mother 
was  a  Methodist  and  a  Calvinist.  He  was  a  trustee  of  the 
Newton  academy.  He  afterwards  carried  on  the  hatter's  bus- 
iness in  the  house  now  called  the  Bacchus  J.  Smith  place  in 
Grove  Park,  where  his  son-in-law,  William  Coleman,  succeeded 
him  as  a  hatter.  For  some  time  before  his  death  he  was 
insane.     He  died  December  24,  1829. 

Samuel  Chunn.  In  1806  he  was  chairman  of  the  Bun- 
combe county  court,  having  been  a  tanner  for  years,  his  tan- 
yard  being  where  Merrimon  avenue  crosses  Glenn's  creek.  In 
1807  he  was  jailer,  and  from  him  Chunn's  Cove  took  its  name. 
He  died  in  1855,  on  the  bank  of  the  French  Broad  in  Madison 
county  at  what  is  known  as  the  Chunn  place,  where  he  had 
resided  in  his  old  age. 

William  Welch.  He  was  at  one  time  a  member  of  the 
Buncombe  county  court,  and  in  January,  1805,  was  coroner. 
He  was  interested  in  lands  on  what  are  now  Haywood  and 
Depot  streets.  He  afterwards  removed  to  Waynesville  and 
married  Mary  Ann,  a  daughter  of  Robert  Love.  In  1829  he 
was  a  senator  from  Haywood  county,  a  member  of  the  con- 
stitutional convention  of  1835  and  for  many  years  clerk  of 
the  court.  He  was  born  April  8,  1796,  and  died  February  6, 
1865. 

Colonel  William  Davidson.  He  was  a  son  of  John  Da- 
vidson and  first  cousin  of  Gen.  Wm.  Davidson,  who  succeeded 
Griffith  Rutherford  in  the  generalship  when  the  latter  was 
captured  at  Camden.  Gen.  Davidson  was  killed  February  1, 
1781,  at  Cowan's  ford  of  Catawba  river.  Col.  Davidson  was  a 
brother  of  the  Samuel  Davidson  who  was  killed  by  the  Indians 
in  1781-2  at  the  head  of  the  Swannanoa  river,  and  was  the 
first  representative  of  Buncombe  county  in  the  State  Senate, 
taking  a  prominent  part  in  the  preparations  made  by  the 


152         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 


North  Carolinians  for  the  Battle  of  Kings  Mountain.  He  was 
the  father  of  William  Mitchell  Davidson  of  Haywood  county, 
whose  son,  Col.  Allen  T.  Davidson,  was  a  prominent  lawyer 
and  represented  this  section  in  the  Confederate  Congress. 

William  Mitchell  Davidson.  He  was  born  January  2, 
1780,  and  died  at  Rock  Island  Ferry,  on  the  Brazos  river, 
Washington  county,  Texas,  May  31,  1846,  and  was  buried 
in  the  Horse  Shoe  Bend  of  that  stream  in  the  private  burying 
ground  of  Amos  Gates.  On  January  10,  1804,  he  married 
Elizabeth  Vance  (who  was  born  on  Reem's  creek,  Buncombe 
county,  North  Carolina,  March  23,  1787),  the  ceremony  being 
performed  by  the  Rev.  Geo.  Newton.  She  died  at  the  home  of 
her  son,  Col.  Allen  Turner  Davidson,  on  Valley  river,  Cher- 
okee county,  April  15,  1861.  They  settled  on  a  beautiful 
farm  on  Jonathan's  creek,  in  Haywood  county,  where  they 
remained  until  October  24,  1844,  when  the  family  went  to 
Santa  Anna,  111.,  where  they  remained  until  the  first  of  March, 
1845,  when  they  again  set  out  for  Texas.  They  settled  on 
Wilson's  creek  of  Collin  county  in  April.  From  there  they 
moved  to  Rock  Island  Ferry,  where  Mr.  Davidson  died.  The 
family  then  returned  to  North  Carolina — April,  1847.  One 
cause  of  his  removal  to  Texas  was  an  unfortunate  mercantile 
venture  which  he  had  made  with  his  sons,  W.  E.,  H.  H.,  an 
A.  T.,  at  Waynesville,  in  1842.  The  story  of  the  adventures 
of  this  family  to  and  from  Texas  at  that  early  day,  as  preserved 
in  a  manuscript  written  by  John  M.  Davidson,  one  of  W.  M. 
Davidson's  sons,  reads  more  like  a  romance  than  a  sober 
recital  of  real  facts.     (See  Appendix.) 

Isaac  B.  Sawyer.  Was  born  on  Tuskeegee  creek  in  Macon, 
now  Swain,  county  in  1810.  James  W.  Patton,  John  Burgin 
and  'Squire  Sawyer  were,  for  years,  the  three  magistrates 
composing  the  Buncombe  county  court.  He  was  the  first 
mayor  of  Asheville  and  was  clerk  and  master  for  many  years 
before  the  Civil  War  and  until  the  adoption  of  the  Code. 
He  was  the  father  of  Captain  James  P.  Sawyer,  who  for  years 
was  the  president  of  the  Battery  Park  bank,  a  successful 
merchant  and  a  public  spirited  and  enterprising  citizen. 
Isaac  B.  Sawyer  died  in  1880. 

James  Mitchell  Alexander.  He  was  born  on  Bee  Tree 
creek,  Buncombe  county,  May  22,  1793.  His  grandfather, 
John  Alexander,  of  Scotch-Irish  descent,  was  a  native  of  Rowan 


COUNTY  HISTORY  153 


county,  where  he  married  Rachel  Davidson,  a  sister  of  Wil- 
liam and  Samuel  Davidson,  and  resided  in  Lincoln  county, 
during  the  Revolutionary  war.  They  were  afterwards  among 
the  first  settlers  of  Buncombe,  but  moved  to  Harper's  river, 
Tenn.  His  son,  James  Alexander  was  born  in  Rowan,  Decem- 
ber 23,  1756.  He  fought  on  the  American  side  at  Kings 
Mountain,  and  Cornwallis's  camp  chest,  captured  by  him,  was 
in  Buncombe  in  1898  when  "Asheville's  Centenary"  was  writ- 
ten by  F.  A.  Sondley,  Esq.  March  19,  1782,  he  married  in 
York  district,  South  Carolina,  Miss  Rhoda  Cunningham, 
who  had  been  born  in  Pennsylvania,  October  13,  1763.  They 
then  moved  to  Buncombe  with  their  father  and  uncle  and 
settled  on  Bee  Tree,  where  he  died  in  the  Presbyterian  faith. 
James  Mitchell  Alexander  was  their  son,  and  on  September 
8,  1814,  he  married  Nancy  Foster,  oldest  child  of  Thomas 
Foster,  who  was  born  November  17,  1797.  In  1816  he  removed 
to  Asheville  and  bought  and  improved  the  Hilliard  property 
on  South  Main  street.  He  was  a  saddler,  and  at  this  house 
he  lived  till  1828,  carrying  on  his  trade  and  keeping  hotel. 
In  1828,  upon  the  completion  of  the  Buncombe  turnpike,  he 
bought  and  improved  the  place  on  the  right  bank  of  the  French 
Broad,  ten  miles  from  Asheville,  afterwards  famous  as  Alex- 
ander's hotel,  also  carrying  on  a  mercantile  business  there. 
In  the  latter  part  of  his  life  he  turned  over  this  business  to  his 
son,  the  late  Alfred  M.  Alexander,  and  one  of  his  sons-in-law, 
the  late  Rev.  J.  S.  Burnett,  and  improved  the  place  three 
miles  nearer  Asheville  called  Montrealla,  where  he  died  June 
11,  1858.     His  wife  died  January  14,  1862. 

Andrew  Erwin.  He  is  the  man  to  whom  Bishop  Asbury 
referred  as  " chief  man."  He  was  born  in  Virginia  about  1773 
and  died  near  the  War  Trace  in  Bedford  county,  Tenn.,  in 
1833.  When  seventeen  years  old  he  entered  the  employment 
of  the  late  James  Patton,  afterwards  becoming  his  partner  as 
inn-keeper  and  merchant  at  Wilkesborough.  In  1800-01 
he  was  a  member  of  the  House  of  Commons  from  Wilkes. 
He  was  Asheville's  first  postmaster.  In  1814  he  moved  to 
Augusta,  Ga. 

Thomas  Foster.  He  was  born  in  Virginia  October  14, 
1774.  In  1776  his  father,  William  Foster  came  with  his 
family  and  settled  midway  between  the  road  leading  to  the 
Swannanoa  river  by  way  of  Fernihurst  from  Asheville.     He 


154         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

married  Miss  Orra  Sams,  whose  father,  Edmund  Sams,  was 
one  of  the  settlers  from  Watauga.  After  his  marriage  Thomas 
Foster  settled  on  the  bank  of  Sweeten's  creek,  afterwards 
called  Foster's  Mill  creek,  the  first  which  enters  Swannanoa 
from  the  south  above  the  present  iron  bridge  on  the  Hender- 
son ville  road.  He  was  a  member  of  the  House  of  Commons 
from  Buncombe  from  1809  to  1814,  both  inclusive,  and  repre- 
sented that  county  in  the  State  senate  in  1817  and  1819. 
He  died  December  24  (incorrectly  on  tombstone  December 
14),  1858.  He  was  a  farmer  and  accumulated  a  considerable 
property.  A  large  family  of  children  survived  him.  His 
wife  died  August  27,  1853.  He  is  mentioned  in  Wheeler's 
History  of  North  Carolina,  Bennett's  Chronology  of  North 
Carolina  and  Bishop  Asbury's  journal. 

Weaverville,  Buncombe  County.  The  greater  part  of 
the  early  settlers  of  this  country  was  made  up  of  men  and  wom- 
en seeking  religious  liberty.  This  motive  no  less  prompted 
the  immigrants  from  Northern  Europe  than  the  great  body  of 
Scotch-Irish  that  emigrated  to  this  country  from  Scotland 
and  Ireland.  In  Pennsylvania  and  down  through  the  valley 
of  the  Shenandoah  we  find  the  Dutch  of  Holland  and  the 
Scotch-Irish,  living  side  by  side  dominated  by  a  single  purpose. 

One  of  the  pioneers  in  Buncombe  county  came  from  the 
valley  of  Virginia  from  this  large  Dutch  settlement  into  what 
is  now  Buncombe  county,  and  was  the  ancester  of  the  large 
family  of  Weavers  now  living  in  that  section. 

Previous  to  1790  John  Weaver  and  wife,  Elizabeth,  with 
their  infant  son  (Jacob),  came  from  Virginia  via  the  Watauga 
in  Tennessee,  crossing  the  Ball  mountain  in  what  is  now  Yan- 
cey county,  and  settled  on  Reems  creek,  near  the  present 
town  of  Weaverville.  From  the  first  census  of  the  United 
States  1790  (see  page  110)  it  appears  that  John  Weaver  was 
a  resident  of  Burke  county,  which  then  included  what  is  now 
Buncombe  county.  His  family  then  consisted  of  wife,  two 
daughters  and  one  son  under  sixteen  years  of  age.  From  this 
it  is  evident  that  he  reached  North  Carolina  sometime  between 
1786  and  1790.  In  the  office  of  Register  of  Deeds  for  Bun- 
combe county,  in  Book  No.  1  at  page  100,  is  recorded  a  deed 
from  John  McDowell  of  Burke  county,  conveying  to  John 
Weaver  of  Buncombe  county  320  acres  of  land;  consideration 
100  pounds;  description,  "On  both  sides  of  Reems  creek  and 


COUNTY  HISTORY  155 

on  both  sides  of  the  path  leading  from  Green  river  to  Nola- 
chuckee."  This  is  interesting  inasmuch  as  it  seems  to  locate 
the  old  Indian  trail  from  the  east  to  the  lands  west  of  Unakas. 
There  is  little  doubt  that  this  young  pioneer  brought  his 
young  wife  and  infant  son  from  the  Watauga  over  this  trail 
in  quest  of  a  permanent  home. 

John  Weaver  was  born  December,  1763,  and  died  December, 
1830.  In  his  will,  probated  April  Session,  1831,  was  found 
the  following  names:  wife,  Elizabeth;  daughters,  Susannah, 
Christiana,  Mary,  Elizabeth,  Matilda  and  Catherine;  sons, 
Jacob,  James,  John  (better  known  as  Jack),  Christopher  G., 
and  Michael  Montreville.  From  this  family  of  six  daughters 
and  five  sons  sprang  the  largest  number  of  descendants,  or  most 
numerous  group  of  related  families  in  Buncombe  county, 
springing  from  one  ancestor.  Some  of  the  oldest  related 
families  living  in  Buncombe  county  have  their  origin  in  more 
than  one  ancestor;  for  instance,  the  Baird  family  sprang  from 
two  brothers,  Zebulon  and  Bedent;  the  Alexander  family, 
from  James  Alexander,  followed  by  a  brother,  nephew  and 
other  kinsmen;  the  Davidson  family,  from  Samuel  and  Wil- 
liam. These  last  named  pioneers  entered  Buncombe  county 
from  the  east  through  the  Swannanoa  gap.  John  Weaver, 
as  stated  above,  came  from  Virginia  and  entered  this  county 
from  the  northern  section  and  what  is  now  Yancey  county. 
His  oldest  son,  Jacob,  married  Elizabeth  Siler  of  Macon  county. 
From  this  union  were  born  four  sons  and  three  daughters, 
John  S.,  Jesse  R.,  William  W.,  and  James  Thomas,  Elizabeth, 
Saphronia  and  Mary.  All  these  children  of  Jacob  Weaver 
married  and  became  the  heads  of  families  living  in  Buncombe 
county.  Their  descendants  constitute  the  large  majority  of 
Weavers  and  Weaver  relations  now  living  in  this  county. 
John  S.  Weaver  first  married  Mary  Miller  of  Bolivar,  Ten- 
nessee; she  died  in  1867  and  his  second  wife  was  Mary  Mc- 
Dowell of  Macon  county,  daughter  of  Silas  McDowell.  Jesse 
R.  Weaver  married  Julia  Coulter  of  Greenville,  Tennessee. 
William  Weimer  Weaver  married  Evalin  Smith  of  Buncombe 
county,  daughter  of  Samuel  Smith.  James  Thomas  Weaver 
married  Hester  Ann  Trotter  of  Macon  county.  Elizabeth 
Weaver  married  Burdie  Gash.  Saphronia  Weaver  married 
Jamison  McElroy.     Mary  Weaver  married  Robert  V.  Black- 


156         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

stock.  Nearly  all  of  the  living  descendants  of  these  families 
now  live  in  Buncombe  county,  except  the  McElroy  family, 
which  moved  to  Arkansas  shortly  after  the  Civil  War. 

The  next  child  of  the  pioneer,  John  Weaver,  was  Susannah, 
who  married  a  Mr.  McCarson;  from  these  are  descendants 
living  in  this  and  adjacent  counties. 

The  second  daughter,  Christiana,  married  Samuel  Vance, 
uncle  of  Z.  B.  Vance,  who  later  moved  to  Bedford  county, 
Tennessee.  The  third  daughter,  Mary,  married  Henry 
Addington  of  Macon  county,  where  many  descendants  from 
this  union  still  live.  The  fourth  daughter,  Catherine,  mar- 
ried Andrew  Pickens  from  South  Carolina,  who  settled  in 
Buncombe  county.  Rev.  R.  V.  Pickens,  Tarpley  Pickens, 
Christly  Pickens,  Mrs.  Eliza  Gill,  and  Mrs.  Martha  Carter, 
who  became  the  heads  of  large  families  in  this  county,  were 
sons  and  daughters  of  Andrew  and  Catherine  Pickens.  The 
fifth  daughter,  Elizabeth,  married  Robert  Patton  Wells. 
From  this  union  were  many  sons  and  daughters,  some  of 
whom,  known  to  the  writer  and  living  in  Buncombe  county,  were 
Robert  C.  Wells,  W.  F.  Wells,  Saphronia,  who  married  Capt. 
R.  P.  Moore,  Jane,  who  married  Dr.  Micheaux,  and  Matilda,  who 
married  Mathias  Faubion  of  Tennessee.  The  sixth  daughter 
of  John  Weaver,  Matilda,  married  Jefferson  H.  Garrison. 
From  this  union  were  born  sons  and  daughters  in  this  and 
adjacent  counties.  Two  sons,  William  and  John,  were  gal- 
lant soldiers  in  the  Civil  War. 

Referring  to  the  sons  of  John  Weaver,  other  than  Jacob, 
who  has  already  been  referred  to,  James  first  married  a  Miss 
Barnard.  Their  daughter,  Christiana,  married  William  R. 
Baird,  and  these  were  the  parents  of  Capt.  I.  V.  Baird,  Wil- 
liam Baird,  Zebulon  Baird,  Dr.  Elisha  Baird,  John  R.  Baird, 
Misses  Mollie  and  Catherine  Baird,  all  now  living  in  Bun- 
combe county,  except  Dr.  Elisha  and  John  R.  Baird,  who 
died  within  the  last  ten  years.  James  Weaver's  second  mar- 
riage was  to  Mrs.  Gilliland.  Children  were  born  to  James 
Weaver  by  both  of  these  unions,  but  they  moved  in  early  life 
to  Tennessee  and  Missouri. 

James  Weaver  first  represented  Buncombe  county  in  the  low- 
er house  of  the  legislature  in  1825,  serving  with  David  L.  Swain. 
He  was  subsequently  re-elected  to  this  office  in  1830,  1832, 
1833  and  1834,  serving  with  William  Orr,  John  Clayton  and 


COUNTY  HISTORY  157 

Joseph  Henry  resepectively.  Later  he  moved  to  Cocke 
county,  Tennessee,  died  July  28,  1854,  and  was  buried  on  the 
old  homestead,  at  the  place  known  as  Weaver  Bend,  just  below 
Paint  Rock.  Subsequently,  one  of  his  daughters  removed 
his  remains  and  re-interred  them  at  Knoxville,  Tenn.  Over- 
looking this  grave,  and  on  the  very  apex  of  a  high,  steep  moun- 
tain, at  Weaver  Bend,  is  a  small  white  cross  set  in  a  rock, 
by  whose  hands  no  one  knows.  It  can  be  seen  from  the  car 
window  as  the  train  moves  through  the  river  gorge  500  feet 
below.  It  is  a  tradition  that  some  Jesuits  placed  a  few  of 
these  crosses  on  conspicuous  promontories  through  the  Smoky 
mountains  long  before  any  of  the  settlements  had  been  made 
by  white  men.  However,  this  may  be,  this  little  emblem 
has  rested  on  this  western  "Horeb"  for  possibly  two  cen- 
turies, looking  out  and  towards  the  rolling  rivers  and  alluvial 
valleys  of  East  Tennessee,  which  to  the  early  settlers  was  a 
real  land  of  promise  flowing  with  milk  and  honey. 

John,  or  Jack,  Weaver  married  and  lived  on  the  French 
Broad  river  just  above  the  mouth  of  Reems  creek.  Some  of 
his  descendants  are  still  living  in  this  county;  of  those  who 
moved  elsewhere  little  is  now  known. 

Christopher  G.  Weaver  married  a  Miss  Lowry  and  lived 
on  Flat  creek  three  miles  north  of  Weaverville.  He  died  in 
early  life  and  has  no  descendants  now  living  in  Buncombe 
county. 

Montreville  Michael  Weaver  was  the  youngest  son  of  John 
Weaver.  He  was  born  August  10,  1808,  married  Jane  Baird. 
To  this  union  was  born  four  sons  and  five  daughters.  The  sons 
were  Fulton,  who  died  unmarried,  and  Capt.  W.  E.  Weaver,  who 
married  Miss  Hannah  Baird  and  is  now  living  at  Weaverville, 
N.  C.  The  third  son,  John,  married  Miss  Garrison,  neither 
of  whom  is  now  living.  Dr.  Henry  Bascomb  Weaver  mar- 
ried Miss  Hattie  Penland,  daughter  of  Robert  Penland  of 
Mitchell  county,  N.  C.  Dr.  Weaver  is  now  living  in  Ashe- 
ville,  a  practicing  physician  who  possesses  the  confidence 
and  esteem  of  those  who  know  him.  The  daughters  of  Mon- 
treville Weaver:  Mary  Ann,  married  Dr.  J.  A.  Reagan; 
Martha,  married  Dr.  J.  W.  Vandiver;  Margarette,  married 
Capt.  Wylie  Parker;  Catherine,  married  Dr.  I.  A.  Harris; 
Eliza,  married  D.  H.  Reagan;  all  of  whom  have  many  descend- 
ants living  in  Buncombe  county.     Montreville  Weaver,   the 


158         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

last  surviving  child  of  the  family  of  John  Weaver,  died  in 
September,  1882. 

Among  these  people  are  many  strong  men  and  women  who 
have  left  their  impress  upon  the  communities  in  which  they 
lived  and  have  largely  contributed  to  the  upbuilding  of  the 
country.  John  Weaver  the  First  left  the  information  with 
his  children  that  his  father  was  a  Holland  gentleman.  Other 
information  obtainable  indicates  that  his  father  came  from 
Holland  to  Pennsylvania,  and  in  company  with  other  brothers 
and  kinsmen  of  the  same  name  settled  near  Lancaster,  Penn- 
sylvania, later  migrating  across  Maryland  into  the  valley  of 
the  Shenandoah  in  Virginia.  The  name  of  Weaver  appears 
frequently  in  the  public  records  about  Lancaster,  Pennsyl- 
vania, and  in  Virginia.  From  the  report  of  Mr.  H.  J.  Ecke- 
rode,  the  Archivist  of  the  State  of  Virginia,  it  appears  that 
there  were  two  men  by  the  name  of  John  Weaver  in  the  Re- 
olutionary  War  from  Virginia.  One  of  these  men  was  from 
Augusta  county.  In  the  same  report  also  appear  the  fol- 
lowing Weavers  :  Aaron  Weaver,  Princess  Ann  county,  Till- 
man Weaver,  Captain  of  Fauquier  Militia.  From  the  Penn- 
sylvania Archives,  Third  Series,  Vol.  23,  appear  the  names 
of  Captain  Martin  Weaver  and  Captain  Jacob  Weaver  of 
Fifth  and  Seventh  Companies  of  the  Tenth  Pennsylvania 
Regiment  (see  pages  314  and  383).  The  commissions  of 
these  men  bear  date  July  1,  1777,  and  January  13,  1777, 
respectively.  Other  Weavers  who  figured  in  the  Revolution- 
ary history  of  Pennsylvania  are  George,  Dolshen,  Daltzer, 
Daniel,  Henry,  Adam,  Jacob  and  Joshua.  In  fact  this  name 
appears  in  some  muster  roll  of  United  States  forces  in  every 
conflict  in  which  the  country  has  been  engaged,  beginning 
with  the  subjugation  of  the  savage  tribes,  through  all  the 
wars  with  England  and  down  to  the  Spanish-American  war 
of  recent  date. 

It  is  easy  to  believe  that  these  Dutch  people  found  con- 
genial friends  and  neighbors  in  the  Scotch-Irish  people  that 
were  thrown  together  in  the  valley  of  the  Shenandoah.  They 
were  all  dominated  by  a  single  purpose,  to  hew  out  for  them- 
selves and  their  posterity  a  civil  and  ecclesiastic  system,  free 
from  the  domination  of  king  or  pope.  There  is  no  doubt  but 
that  the  ancestors  of  these  Dutch  people  were  the  loyal  sup- 
porters  of  William,   Duke   of  Nassau,   called    "William   the 


COUNTY  HISTORY  159 

Silent' '  who  broke  the  power  of  Catholic  Spain  over  the  Neth- 
erlands in  his  defeat  of  Philip  the  Second  in  the  latter  part  of 
the  Sixteenth  Century. 

Ashe  County.  The  act  to  establish  the  county  of  Ashe  is 
one  of  the  shortest  on  record.  It  was  passed  in  1799  (Laws 
of  N.  C,  p.  98)  and  provides  that  "all  that  part  of  the  county 
of  Wilkes  lying  west  of  the  extreme  height  of  the  Appalachian 
mountains  shall  be,  and  the  same  is  hereby  erected  into  a 
separate  and  distinct  county  by  the  name  of  Ashe,"  followed 
later  by  an  act  to  establish  permanently  the  dividing  line 
between  Ashe  and  Buncombe  counties,  the  same  to  begin  at 
"the  Yadkin  spring,  and  thence  along  the  extreme  height  of 
the  Blue  ridge  to  the  head  spring  of  Flat  Top  fork  of  Elk 
creek,  thence  down  the  meanders  of  said  creek  to  the  Ten- 
nessee line." 

The  first  record  of  the  county  court  of  Ashe  is  at  the  May 
term,  1806,  with  Alexander  Smith,  John  McBride  and  Charles 
Tolliver,  esquires,  present.  The  following  were  the  jurors  : 
Sidniah  Maxwell,  foreman,  James  Sturgill,  Allen  Woodruff, 
Samuel  Griffith,  Seth  Osborn,  George  Koons,  John  Green, 
James  Dickson,  Levi  Pennington,  Benjamin  Hubbard,  Charles 
Kelly,  James  Murphy,  Wm.  Harris,  Alex.  Lethern,  Sciras 
Fairchilds.  Edward  King  was  appointed  constable  to  attend 
the  grand  jury.  Elisha  Collins  was  excused  from  road  duty 
"by  reason  of  infirmity."  At  the  February  Term,  1807, 
James  Cash  recorded  his  "mark"  for  stock,  being  a  crop  and 
slit  and  under  keel  on  the  right  ear;  and  Elijah  Calloway 
and  Mathias  Harmon  were  qualified  as  justices  of  the  peace. 
The  jury  appointed  to  "view  the  road  from  Daniel  Harper's 
into  the  Elk  spur  road"  made  report  that  it  "was  no  road." 

From  the  Old  Court  Records.  If  there  was  a  term  of 
the  Superior  Court  held  in  Ashe  county  prior  to  the  March 
term,  1807,  there  is  no  record  of  it.  On  the  9th  day  of  March 
of  that  year,  however,  Francis  Locke  presided  as  judge,  and 
appointed  John  McMillan  clerk,  with  bond  of  £2,000.  Thomas 
McGimsey  was  appointed  clerk  and  master,  but  resigned  at 
the  September  Term,  1807.  The  grand  jurors  were  Nathan 
Horton,  foreman,  James  Bunyard,  David  Earnest,  John  Brown, 
Eli  Cleveland,  Joseph  Couch,  John  Koons,  Jonathan  Baker, 
Elijah  Pope,  Jesse  Ray,  Samuel  C.  Cox,  John  Holman,  Joshua 
Cox,    Elijah    Callaway,    John   Judd,    Alex.    Johnson,    Morris 


160         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Baker,  Wm.  Weaver.  Henry  Hardin,  constable,  was  sworn  to 
attend  the  jury.  Only  two  cases  were  tried,  the  first  of  which 
was  John  Cox  v.  Isaac  H.  Robinett  and  Nathan  Gordon, 
debt,  judgment  for  £596,  14-6d  and  costs.  At  the  Septem- 
ber term,  1807,  Judge  Spruce  McCay  presided  and  fined  the 
delinquent  jurors  £10  each,  but  afterwards  released  them. 
Six  cases  were  tried.  Judge  Francis  Locke  returned  for  the 
Spring  Term,  1808,  and  Judge  Samuel  Lowrie  followed  him 
at  the  Fall  term.  At  the  September  term,  1810,  on  motion 
of  Robert  H.  Burton,  who  was  to  become  judge  and  preside 
at  a  future  term,  Samuel  Cox,  sheriff,  was  amerced,  nisi,  for 
not  returning  execution  in  the  case  of  Robert  Nail  v.  Jno. 
Burton  and  others.  At  the  March  term,  1811,  Peter  Hart 
was  committed  to  jail  for  24  hours  and  fined  40  shillings  for 
making  a  noise  and  contempt  of  court,  and  Gideon  Lewis  and 
John  Northern  were  fined  20  shillings  each  for  not  answering 
when  their  names  were  called.  Judge  Henderson  presided  at 
the  March  term,  1812,  when  John  A.  Johnson  resigned  his 
appointment  as  clerk  and  master.  John  Hall  presided  at  the 
September  term,  while  at  the  March  term,  1813,  the  jury 
acquitted  Wm.  Pennington  of  rape.  At  this  term  Waugh 
&  Findlay  recovered  judgment  for  $55.06^2  against  Elizabeth 
Humphries,  but  judgment  was  arrested  and  a  new  trial  or- 
dered. Duncan  Cameron  presided  at  the  March  term,  1814, 
while  at  the  September  term,  1815,  the  jury  found  that  Wm. 
Lambeth,  indicted  for  malicious  mischief  (Betty  Young  pros- 
scutrix)  had  taken  "a  mare  from  his  cornfield  to  a  secret 
place  and  stabbed  her  to  prevent  a  repetition  of  injuring  his 
crop,  but  were  unable  to  say  whether  he  was  guilty  or  not 
and  the  judge,  Hon.  Leonard  Henderson,  ordered  that  a  tran- 
script of  the  bill  of  indictment  and  verdict  be  sent  to  the 
Conference  court.  At  the  September  term,  1817,  Judge  Low- 
ery  did  not  get  to  court  on  Monday,  but  arrived  the  follow- 
ing Tuesday,  and  ordered  Thomas  Calloway,  county  surveyor, 
to  survey  the  land  in  dispute  between  Thomas  McGimsey 
and  Elisha  Blevins.  There  is  a  grant  to  Gideon  Lewis  to  200 
acres  on  Spring  branch,  entered  September  16,  1802,  of  date 
November  27,  1806,  and  a  grant  to  Reuben  Farthing  for  200 
acres  on  Beaver  Dams,  entered  July  4,  1829,  of  date  Decem- 
ber 5,  1831.  Benjamin  Cutbirth  conveyed  100  acres  on  South 
Fork  of  New  river  to  Andrew  Ferguson,  the  execution  of 


COUNTY  HISTORY  161 

which  deed  was  proven  by  the  oath  of  Joseph  Couch  at  the 
May  term,  1800,  of  the  county  court. 

Second  Jail  West  of  the  Blue  Ridge.  The  first  jail 
stood  behind  what  is  now  the  Jefferson  Bargain  store,  con- 
ducted by  Dr.  J.  C.  Testerman,  from  which  some  of  the  logs 
were  removed  to  and  made  into  the  old  stable  in  east  Jefferson, 
where  they  are  still  visible.  The  next  jail  was  of  brick  and 
stood  on  the  site  of  the  present  jail  on  Helton  road,  and  was 
built,  probably,  about  1833.  It  was  burned  in  the  spring  of 
1865  by  men  in  the  uniform  of  the  United  States  army.  A  pris- 
oner set  the  jail  on  fire  about  1887  and  Felix  Barr  repaired  it. 

Jefferson.  A  tract  of  fifty  acres  was  deeded  to  Ashe 
county  on  which  the  town  of  Jefferson  was  built  early  in  the 
18th  century;  but  the  records  of  the  grantor  and  grantee  are 
lost.  A  map  in  the  possession  of  G.  L.  Park,  Esq.,  is  sup- 
posed to  have  been  made  about  1800.  It  was  made  by  J. 
Harper  and  shows  the  location  of  all  lots,  the  court  house  and 
the  crossing  of  the  Helton  road.  The  first  court  house  was 
of  logs  and  stood  at  the  intersection  of  this  road  and  the  road 
running  east  and  west,  and  now  known  as  Main  street.  The 
next  court  house  was  of  brick,  and  stood  flush  with  Main 
street,  in  front  of  the  present  structure,  and  was  built  about 
1832  or  1833,  according  to  statement  of  Edmund  C.  Bartlett 
to  Felix  Barr,  who  also  remembers  seeing  the  date  on  a  tin 
gutter,  the  tin  work  having  been  done  by  Lyle  &  Wilcox  of 
Grayson  county,  Va.  The  present  court  house  was  built 
in  1904,  the  old  road  for  Helton  still  going  by  it,  but  passing 
on  both  sides  now,  in  narrow  alleys  or  lanes,  but  coming  to- 
gether again  before  crossing  the  gap  of  the  Phoenix  mountain, 
nearly  two  miles  to  the  north.  There  is  a  conflict  of  opinion 
as  to  where  the  first  court  was  held,  some  claiming  that  it  was 
in  an  old  log  church  in  the  meadow  immediately  in  front  of 
the  present  court  house  and  known  as  the  McEwen  meadow, 
and  others  that  it  was  held  in  an  old  Baptist  church  half  a 
mile  from  Jefferson  on  the  Beaver  creek  road,  near  which  a 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Smithdeal  kept  a  tavern  and  on  the  opposite  side 
of  the  road.  The  three  rows  of  black-heart  cherry  trees  on 
the  main  street  give  not  only  shade  but  an  air  of  distinction 
not  noticeable  in  newer  towns,  while  the  colonial  style  of 
several  of  the  houses  indicates  a  degree  of  refinement  among 
the  earlier  inhabitants  sadly  missing  from  many  places  of  equal 

W.  N.  C. 11 


162         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

antiquity.  Like  Charleston,  S.  C,  Jefferson  has  the  air  of 
having  been  finished  years  ago ;  but  as  the  Methodist  Conference 
has  appropriated  $20,000  and  the  citizens  of  Ashe  $10,000 
to  build  a  school  and  college,  and  Mrs.  Eula  J.  Neal,  widow 
of  the  late  J.  Z.  Neal  has  conveyed  eight  or  ten  acres  of  choice 
land  for  that  purpose,  and  as  a  railroad  from  Virginia  is  ex- 
pected soon,  Jefferson  is  looking  to  the  future  with  pride  in 
her  past  and  a  determination  to  achieve  greater  and  greater 
results.  Before  the  coming  of  railroads  Asheville  was  no 
larger  than  Jefferson  is  now,  nor  had  it  any  greater  evidences 
of  culture  and  education  than  is  here  indicated  by  the  citi- 
zenship of  Jefferson.  The  large  numbers  of  negroes  in  and 
around  Jefferson  indicate  that  the  former  residents  were  men 
of  wealth  and  leisure.  In  1901,  the  legislature  incorporated 
the  Wilkesboro  and  Jefferson  Turnpike  company7,  and  five 
years  later  a  finely  graded  road  was  completed  between  those 
two  places.  By  the  terms  of  this  act  the  State  furnished 
the  convicts  while  the  stockholders  furnished  the  provisions 
and  paid  the  expenses.  This  road  has  been  of  greater  help 
to  North  Wilkesboro  than  to  Jefferson;  but  if  the  town  of  Jef- 
ferson and  the  county  of  Ashe  would  secure  trackage  rights 
over  the  narrow  gauge  road  now  operated  for  lumber  exclu- 
sively between  Laurel  Bloomery,  Term.,  and  Hemlock,  N.  C, 
and  then  secure  convicts  to  complete  the  line  to  Jefferson,  under 
the  same  terms  as  were  granted  for  the  building  of  the  turn- 
pike, and  operate  it  by  electricity,  it  need  not  wait  for  the 
pleasure  of  lumber  companies  to  construct  a  standard  gauge 
road  at  their  convenience 

Old  Buildings.  The  building  now  known  as  Jefferson 
Inn  was  built  in  two  parts  by  the  late  George  Bower.  The 
part  used  by  the  Bank  of  Ashe  was  built  first,  but  the  date  can- 
not be  determined  definitely,  and  the  eastern  part  some  years 
later.  The  frame  building  next  to  the  east  was  George  Bow- 
er's store,  in  which  the  postoffice  was  kept,  and  holes  in  the 
partitions  are  still  visible  which  had  been  used  for  posting 
letters.  James  Gentry  was  killed  one  snowy  Christmas 
night  about  the  year  1876,  in  front  of  this  building  while 
Mont.  Hardin  was  keeping  hotel.  Douglas  Dixon  was  tried 
for  the  murder,  but  was  acquitted.  It  was  in  this  building 
also  that  Judge  Robert  R.  Heath,  sick  and  delirious,  inflicted 
a  wound  upon  himself  from  which  he  afterwards  died  (May 


COUNTY  HISTORY  163 

26,    1871).     The   hand-forged  hinges  and  window  fastenings 
indicate  that  the  building  is  old. 

Waugh  and  Bartlett  Houses.  But  what  is  still  known 
as  the  Bartlett  house,  east  of  the  present  postoffice,  is  prob- 
ably the  oldest  house  in  town.  It  was  occupied  by  Sheriff 
E.  C.  Bartlett,  grandfather  of  the  Professors  Dougherty  of 
Boone.  Another  old  building  is  that  still  known  as  the  Waugh 
house,  notwithstanding  its  modern  appearance.  It  is  now 
a  part  of  the  Masonic  building,  apparently,  but  its  main 
body,  like  the  Bartlett  house,  is  of  logs.  In  it  Waugh,  Poe 
and  Murchison  sold  goods  in  the  first  part  of  the  nineteenth 
century.  Certain  it  is  that  to  this  firm  there  were  grants 
and  deeds  to  land  at  a  very  early  date,  and  the  first  map  of 
Jefferson  was  made  by  J.  Harper  for  Wm.  P.  Waugh,  the 
senior  member  of  this  firm;  Mathias  Poe,  the  third  member 
is  said  to  have  lived  in  Tennessee;  but  Col.  Murchison  for 
years  occupied  the  large  old  residence  which  still  stands  on 
the  hill  at  the  eastern  end  of  town. 

Early  Residents  of  Jefferson,  Ashe  County.  Nathan 
H.  Waugh  moved  to  Jefferson  from  Monroe  county,  Tenn., 
in  1845.  He  was  born  April  24,  1822.  Among  those  living 
in  Jefferson  in  1845  were  Col.  George  Bower,  Rev.  Dr.  Wagg, 
a  Methodist  preacher,  and  the  Rev.  William  Milam,  also  a 
Methodist  preacher,  and  the  jailer;  also  Sheriff  E.  C.  Bart- 
lett, Cyrus  Wilcox,  a  tinner,  George  Houck,  blacksmith,  whose 
daughter  married  Cyrus  Grubb  of  the  Bend  of  New  river; 
and  Wm.  Wyatt.  Daniel  Burkett,  who  lives  one  mile  South 
of  Jefferson  and  whose  daughter  married  Rev.  Dr.  J.  H. 
Weaver  of  the  Methodist  Church,  South.  William  Willen,  an 
Englishman  and  a  ditcher,  lived  one  mile  east  of  Jefferson  on 
the  farm  now  owned  by  D.  P.  Waugh.  Mrs.  Lucy  A  Carson 
moved  to  Jefferson  in  1870,  and  remembers  as  residents  at 
that  time  S.  C.  Waugh,  Wiley  P.  Thomas,  Mrs.  America 
Bower,  Dr.  L.  C.  Gentry,  Rev.  James  Wagg,  J.  E.  and  N.  A. 
Foster,  E.  C.  Bartlett.  The  Fosters  delivered  salt  to  Ashe 
county  during  the  Civil  War.  Mrs.  Milam  owned  a  residence 
opposite  J.  E.  and  N.  A.  Foster's,  but  gave  the  lot  to  Adam 
Roberts,  colored,  who  subsequently  sold  it  and  built  the  brick 
house  on  the  hill  to  the  south  of  town.  The  Carson  house, 
brick,  was  built  in  1845,  Geo.  Bower  giving  John  M.  Carson, 


164         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

his  brother-in-law,  the  lot  on  which  it  stands.  Captain  Joseph 
W.  Todd  built  the  house  to  the  west  of  the  Carson  resi- 
dence in  1870,  and  the  Henry  Rollins  house  had  been  built 
long  before  that  time.  The  Negro  mountain  was  so  called 
because  a  runaway  negro,  during  or  before  the  Revolutionary 
War,  escaped  and  hid  in  a  cave  on  the  mountain  till  his  hid- 
ing place  was  discovered  and  he  was  recaptured  and  returned 
to  his  master  east  of  the  Blue  Ridge.  The  Mulatto  mountain 
is  said  to  have  taken  its  name  from  the  color  of  the  soil,  but 
no  plausible  reason  was  given  for  the  names  applied  to  the 
Paddy  and  Phoenix  mountains. 

Aras  B.  Cox.  Aras  B.  Cox  was  born  in  Floyd  county, 
Va.,  January  25,  1816,  and  married  Phoebe  Edwards,  Febru- 
ary 23,  1845.  They  settled  in  Ashe  county.  In  1849  he  was 
elected  clerk  of  the  Superior  Court,  and  also  in  1853.  He 
sold  his  farm  in  Alleghany  county,  and  bought  one  seven 
miles  from  Jefferson.  He  was  in  the  Confederate  War.  He 
was  a  distinguished  physician  and  the  author  of  "Footprints 
on  the  Sands  of  Time,"  published  at  Sparta,  N.  C,  in  August, 
1900.     He  died  soon  after. 

Colonel  George  Bower.  So  higly  regarded  was  Col. 
Bower  for  his  wisdom  and  sagacity  that  he  was  almost  uni- 
versally called  "Double  Headed  Bower,"  or  "Two  Headed 
Bower."  He  was  born  in  Ashe  county,  January  8,  1788.  His 
father  was  John  Bower,  whose  will  as  recorded  in  Ashe  county 
disposed  of  considerable  property. 8  George  was  a  merchant, 
farmer,  live-stock  raiser  and  hotellist  at  Jefferson.  He  mar- 
ried a  Miss  Bryant  first,  and  after  her  death  Miss  America 
Russeau.  He  was  elected  State  Senator  when  Andrew  Jack- 
son was  elected  president  both  times. 9  He  became  one  of 
the  bondsmen  of  John  McMillan  as  clerk  of  the  Superior 
Court  as  early  as  the  September  term,  1813. 10  At  sub- 
sequent terms  he  was  appointed  clerk  and  master  and  gave 
bond  as  such. '  l  He  owned  a  large  number  of  slaves  and 
many  State  bonds.  He  was  drowned  in  the  Yadkin  river, 
October  7,  1861.  His  will  was  probated  in  1899,  Book 
E,  p.  387.  His  widow  married  Robert  R.  Heath,  who  was 
born  in  New  Hampshire  October  25,  1806,  and  died  at  Jef- 
ferson, May  26,  1871.  "He  was  an  able  lawyer  and  an  up- 
right judge,"  is  engraved   on  his   tomb.      Mrs.   Heath  then 


COUNTY  HISTORY  165 

married  Alston  Davis.  She  was  born  February  26,  1816,  and 
died  May  25,  1903.  Her  will  was  probated  in  1903,  Book  E, 
p.  524. 

A  Tragic  Death.  In  October,  1861,  George  Bower  fol- 
lowed a  runaway  slave  to  the  ford  of  the  Yadkin  river.  He 
was  in  his  carriage,  and  the  negro  driver  told  him  the  river 
was  too  swollen  to  admit  of  fording  it  at  that  time.  Col. 
Bower,  insisting,  however,  the  colored  man  drove  in.  The  cur- 
rent took  the  carriage  with  its  single  occupant  far  beyond  the 
bank.  Col.  Bower  was  drowned,  but  the  driver  and  horses 
escaped. 

Stephen  Thomas.  This  gentleman  was  a  progressive  and 
valuable  citizen  of  Creston,  having  kept  a  store  and  tavern 
there.  He  was  born  in  May,  1796,  and  died  in  May,  1864. 
His  wife  was  a  daughter  of  Timothy  Perkins.  He  reared 
a  splendid  family. l  - 

David  Worth.  He  was  descended  from  William  Worth,  who 
emigrated  from  England  in  the  reign  of  Charles  the  Second. 
His  father  had  owned  considerable  property  under  the  Com- 
monwealth, but  at  the  Restoration  it  had  been  confiscated,  and 
his  family  scattered  in  search  of  safety.  William  had  a  son, 
Joseph,  born  in  Massachusetts,  and  Joseph's  son  Daniel,  mar- 
ried Sarah  Husey.  Daniel  Worth  was  a  son  of  Joseph  and 
was  born  in  Guilford  county,  October  15,  1810.  Daniel  Worth 
was  the  father  of  David  Worth,  who  came  to  Creston  about 
1828,  and  died  December  10,  1888.  He  was  a  tanner  by 
trade.  He  also  was  a  most  valuable  citizen  and  highly  re- 
spected. He  married  Miss  Elizabeth  Thomas,  daughter  of 
Stephen  Thomas.  She  was  born  January  18,  1821,  and  died 
October  22,  1895. 13 

Zachariah  Baker.  He  lived  at  Creston  and  was  a  suc- 
cessful farmer  and  stock  raiser.  His  wife  was  Miss  Zilphea 
Dickson.  They  reared  a  large  family  of  influential  and  suc- 
cessful citizens.  One  of  his  sons,  John,  married  Delilah  Eller, 
and  the  other,  Marshall,  married  Mary  Eller,  a  daughter  of 
Luke  Eller. 1 4 

The  Graybeals.  They  are  said  to  be  of  Dutch  ancestry, 
are  generally  thrifty  and  successful  folk,  and  own  much  real 
estate  and  live  stock.  They  are  honest,  frugal  and  among 
the  best  citizens  of  Ashe. 


166         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Jacob,  Henry  and  John  Eller.  They  were  sons  of  Chris- 
tian Eller,  once  a  resident  of  the  Jersey  Settlement  in  David- 
son county.  The  two  former  came  to  Ashe  and  settled  on 
the  North  Fork  of  New  river,  reared  large  families,  and  were 
successful,  useful,  respected  citizens.  Their  sons  were  Peter, 
Luke,  William,  John,  David  and  Jacob.  John  settled  on  the 
South  Fork  and  later  moved  to  Wilkes.  His  sons  were  Sim- 
eon, David,  Absalom,  John  and  Peter,  who  reared  large  fam- 
ilies which  are  scattered  over  Western  North  Carolina,  Ten- 
nessee, Virginia,  Iowa  and  Nebraska. x  5 

Some  Early  Settlers  of  Ashe.16  "These  noble,  self- 
sacrificing  men  and  women  of  the  early  times  endangered 
their  lives  and  braved  many  hardships  in  the  wild  Indian 
coutry  to  open  the  way  to  happy  homes,  schools,  churches 
and  the  blessings  of  our  present  civilization.  Some  of  these 
were  Henry  Poe,  Martin  Gambill,  Thomas  Sutherland,  Tim- 
othy Perkins,  Captain  John  Cox,  Henry  Hardin,  Canada 
Richardson,  James  Douglas,  Daniel  Dickson  and  Elijah  Cal- 
loway. Besides  these  were  many  others  whose  names  awaken 
much  unwritten  history  :  Miller,  Blevins,  Ham,  Reeves, 
Woodin,  Barr,  Baker,  Eller,  Goodman,  Ray,  Burkett,  Gray- 
beal,  Houck,  Kilby,  Ashley,  Jones,  Gentry,  Smith,  Plummer, 
Lewis,  Sutherland,  McMillan,  Colvard,  Barker,  Senter,  Max- 
well, Calhoun,  Sapp,  Thomas,  Worth,  Oliver  and  others." 

Haywood  County.17  "In  the  legislature  of  1808,  Gen- 
eral Thomas  Love,  whose  home  was  near  where  the  'Brown' 
house  now  stands  back  of  the  McAfee  cottage  in  Waynesville, 
and  who  was  that  year  representative  from  Buncombe  county 
in  the  General  Assembly,  introduced  a  bill  having  for  its  pur- 
pose to  organize  a  county  out  of  that  portion  of  Buncombe 
west  of  its  present  western  and  southwestern  boundary  and 
extending  to  the  Tennessee  line,  including  all  the  territory  in 
the  present  counties  of  Haywood,  Macon,  Jackson,  Swain, 
Graham,  Clay,  and  Cherokee.  The  bill  met  with  favor,  was 
passed,  ratified  and  became  a  law  December  23,  1808. 

"On  Richland  creek,  about  the  year  1800,  the  neucleus  of  a 
village  had  been  formed  on  the  beautiful  ridge  between  its 
limpid  waters  and  those  of  Raccoon  creek.  The  ridge  is  less 
than  a  mile  wide  and  attracted  settlers  on  account  of  the  pic- 
turesque mountains  on  either  side  and  the  delightfulness  of  the 
climate.     At  that  early  time  a  considerable  population  was 


COUNTY  HISTORY  167 


already  there.  Several  men,  who  were  well  known  in  the  State 
and  who  afterwards  became  prominent  in  public  affairs,  had 
built  homes  upon  that  nature  favored  spot  and  were  living 
there.  Such  men  as  General  Thomas  Love,  Colonel  Robert 
Love,  Colonel  William  Allen,  John  Welch,  and  others  of  Rev- 
olutionary fame  were  leaders  in  that  community.  Without 
changing  his  residence  General  Thomas  Love  was  a  member 
of  the  State  Legislature,  with  two  or  three  years  intermission, 
from  1797  to  1828,  for  nine  years  as  a  member  from  Buncombe 
county  and  the  remainder  of  the  time  from  Haywood.  Most 
of  the  time  he  was  in  the  House  of  Commons  but  for  six  years 
he  was  also  in  the  Senate.  Colonel  Robert  Love  served  three 
years  in  the  senate  from  Buncombe  county,  from  1793  to  1795. 
William  Allen  and  John  Welch  were  veterans  of  the  Revolu- 
tion and  men  of  considerable  influence  in  that  community. 
"As  already  stated  that  law  was  ratified  on  December  23, 

1808,  but  it  did  not  become  operative  until  early  in  the  year 

1809.  On  the  fourth  Monday  in  March  of  that  year  the 
justices  of  the  peace  in  the  territory  defined  by  the  act  erect- 
ing the  county  met  at  Mount  Prospect  in  the  first  court  of 
pleas  and  quarter  sessions  ever  held  in  the  limits  of  Haywood 
county.  The  following  justices  were  present  at  that  meeting: 
Thomas  Love,  John  Fergus,  John  Dobson,  Robert  Phillips, 
Abraham  Eaton,  Hugh  Davidson,  Holliman  Battle,  John  Mc- 
Farland,  Phillip  T.  Burfoot,  William  Deaver,  Archibald 
McHenry,  and  Benjamin  Odell. 

"One  of  the  first  things  the  court  thus  constituted  did  was 
to  elect  officers  for  the  new  county.  There  were  several  can- 
didates for  the  different  positions,  but  after  several  ballots 
were  taken  the  following  were  declared  duly  elected:  Clerk 
of  the  court,  Robert  Love;  Sheriff,  William  Allen;  register 
of  deeds,  Phillip  T.  Burfoot;  constable  of  the  county,  Samuel 
Hollingsworth;  entry  taker,  Thomas  St.  Clair;  treasurer,  Rob- 
ert Phillips;  stray  master,  Adam  Killian;  comptroller,  Abra- 
ham Eaton;  coroner,  Nathan  Thompson;  solicitor,  Archi- 
bald Ruffin;  standard  keeper,  David  McFarland. 

"Thus  officered  the  county  of  Haywood  began  its  career. 
The  officers  entered  at  once  upon  their  respective  duties,  and 
the  county  became  a  reality.  The  first  entry  in  the  register's 
book  bears  date  of  March  29th,   1809,  signed  by  Philip  T. 


168         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Burfoot,  and  the  first  in  the  clerk's  book  is  the  same  date  by- 
Robert  Love. 

"Until  the  court  house  and  jail  could  be  built  the  county 
officials  met  at  private  residences  at  Mount  Prospect  and 
prisoners  were  carried  to  jail  in  Asheville.  Such  proceedings 
were  inconvenient  and  the  commissioners  appointed  by  the 
legislature,  therefore,  made  haste  to  locate  and  erect  the 
public  buildings.  It  was  expected  that  they  would  be  ready 
to  make  their  report  to  the  court  of  pleas  and  quarter  sessions 
as  to  the  location  of  the  county  seat  at  the  March  session. 
Instead,  however,  they  asked  at  that  session  to  be  indulged 
until  the  June  term,  and  that  request  was  granted. 

"On  Monday,  June  26,  1809,  the  court  met  at  the  home  of 
John  Howell.  The  old  record  names  the  following  justices 
as  being  present:  Thomas  Love,  Philip  Burfoot,  Hugh  Da- 
vidson, John  McFarland,  Abraham  Eaton,  John  Dobson,  Wil- 
liam Deaver,  Archibald  McHenry,  and  John  Fergus.  At  this 
meeting  the  commissioners  named  in  the  act  of  the  legislature 
erecting  the  county  made  their  report,  in  which  they  declared 
that  it  was  unanimously  agreed  to  locate  the  public  buildings 
somewhere  on  the  ridge  between  Richland  and  Raccoon  creeks 
at  or  near  the  point  then  called  Mount  Prospect.  As  the 
commissioners  were  clothed  with  full  power  to  act,  it  required 
no  vote  of  the  justices,  but  it  is  more  than  probable  that  the 
report  was  cheerfully  endorsed  by  a  majority  of  the  justices 
present. 

"At  this  June  term  of  the  court,  the  first  for  the  trial  of 
causes,  the  following  composed  the  grand  jury:  John  Welch 
foreman,  William  W^elch,  John  Fullbright,  John  Robinson, 
Edward  Sharteer,  Isaac  Wilkins,  Elijah  Deaver,  David 
McFarland,  William  Burns,  Joseph  Chambers,  Thomas  St.  Clair, 
John  Shook,  William  Cathey,  Jacob  Shock,  and  John  St. 
Clair.  The  following  grand  jurors  for  the  next  term  of  the 
Superior  court  that  was  to  be  held  in  Asheville  in  September: 
Holliman  Battle,  Hugh  Davidson,  Abraham  Eaton,  Thomas 
Lenoir,  William  Deaver,  John  McFarland,  John  McClure, 
Felix  Walker,  Jacob  McFarland,  Robert  Love,  Edward  Hyatt 
and  Daniel  Fleming.  This  was  done  because  of  the  fact  that 
no  Superior  court  was  held  in  Haywood  for  several  years  after 
the  formation  of  the  county;  but  all  cases  that  were  appealed 
from  the  court  of  pleas  and  quarter  sessions  came  up  by  law 


COUNTY  HISTORY  169 


in  the  Superior  court  of  Buncombe  county  at  Asheville.  For 
this  court  Haywood  county  was  bound  by  law  to  send  to 
Asheville  six  grand  jurors  and  as  many  more  as  desired. 

"At  the  June  term  inspectors  of  election,  that  was  to  take 
place  in  August,  were  also  selected.  There  were  then  two 
voting  precincts,  and  this  election  was  the  first  ever  held  in 
the  county.  For  the  precinct  of  Mount  Prospect  the  follow- 
ing inspectors  were  appointed:  George  Cathey,  William 
Deaver,  John  Fergus,  and  Hugh  Davidson.  For  the  precinct 
of  Soco,  Benjamin  Parks,  Robert  Reed,  and  Robert  Turner 
were  appointed. 

"In  the  location  of  the  public  buildings  at  Mount  Prospect, 
there  was  laid  the  foundation  of  the  present  little  city  of 
Waynesville.  Tradition  says  and  truthfully,  no  doubt,  that 
the  name  was  suggested  by  Colonel  Robert  Love  in  honor  of 
General  Anthony  Wayne,  under  whom  Colonel  Love  served 
in  the  Revolutionary  War.  The  name  suited  the  community 
and  people,  and  the  village  soon  came  to  be  known  by  it.  In 
the  record  of  the  court  of  pleas  and  quarter  sessions  the  name 
of  Waynesville  occurs  first  in  1811. 

"Some  unexpected  condition  prevented  the  immediate 
erection  of  the  public  buildings.  The  plans  were  all  laid  in 
1809,  but  sufficient  money  from  taxation  as  provided  for  in 
the  act  establishing  the  county  had  not  been  secured  by  the 
end  of  that  year.  It  was,  therefore,  late  in  the  year  1811 
before  sufficient  funds  were  in  hand  to  begin  the  erection  of 
the  courthouse.  During  the  year  1812  the  work  began  and 
was  completed  by  the  end  of  the  year.  Mark  Colman  is  said 
to  have  been  the  first  man  to  dig  up  a  stump  in  laying  the 
foundation  for  that  building.  On  December  21,  1812,  the 
first  court  was  held  in  this  first  court  house." 

Haywood's  Six  Daughters.  Formerly  belonging  to  Hay- 
wood were  Macon,  Cherokee,  Jackson,  Swain,  Clay  and  Gra- 
ham counties.  Of  many  of  the  pioneer  residents  of  these 
counties  when  they  were  a  part  of  Haywood  Col.  Allen  T. 
Davidson  speaks  in  The  Lyceum  for  January,  1891.  Among 
them  were  David  Nelson  and  Jonathan  McPeters,  Jonathans 
creek  having  been  named  for  the  latter.  David  Nelson  was 
the  uncle  of  Col.  Win.  H.  Thomas,  and  died  at  87  highly 
respected  and  greatly  lamented.  "He  was  of  fine  physical 
form,   honest,   brave   and   hospitable."       "Then   there   were 


170         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Joshua  Allison,  George  Owens,  John  and  Reuben  Moody, 
brothers,  all  sturdy,  hardy,  well-to-do  men  and  good  citi- 
zens, who,  with  Samuel  Leatherwood  constituted  my  father's 
near  neighbors."  "Joseph  Chambers  of  this  neighborhood 
moved  to  Georgia  about  the  opening  of  the  Carroll  county 
gold  mine,  say,  about  1831-32.  He  was  a  man  of  more  than 
ordinary  character,  led  in  public  affairs  and  reared  an  elegant 
family.  His  daughters  were  splendid  ladies  and  married  well. 
His  wife  was  a  sister  of  John  and  Reuben  Moody."  John 
Leatherwood  was  well  known  for  his  "thrift  and  industry, 
fine  hounds,  fine  cattle  and  good  old-time  apple  brandy;  a 
good  citizen  who  lived  to  a  good  old  age.  James  McKee, 
father  of  James  L.  McKee  of  Asheville,  lived  on  this  creek, 
was  sheriff  of  Haywood  for  many  years,  and  died  at  an 
advanced  age  at  Asheville.  Near  him  lived  Felix  Walker. 
He  was  a  man  of  great  suavity  of  manner,  a  fine 
electioneer,  insomuch  that  he  was  called  "Old  Oil  Jug."  He 
went,  after  his  defeat  for  Congress  in  1824  by  Dr.  Robert 
Vance,  to  Mississippi,  where  he  died  about  1835.  The  manu- 
facture and  sale  of  gensing  was  begun  on  Jonathans  creek  by 
Dr.  Hailen  of  Philadelphia,  who  employed  Ximron  S.  Jarrett 
and  Bacchus  J.  Smith,  late  of  Buncombe  county,  to  conduct 
the  business.  It  was  abundant  then  and  very  profitable,  the 
green  root  being  worth  about  seven  cents  a  pound.  A  branch 
of  this  business  was  established  on  Caney  river  in  Yancey 
county.  I  well  remember  seeing  great  companies  of  moun- 
taineers coming  along  the  mountain  passes  (there  were  no 
roads  then  only  as  we  blazed  them)  with  packed  horses  and 
oxen  going  to  the  "factory,"  as  we  called  it;  and  it  was  a 
great  rendezvous  for  the  people,  where  all  the  then  sports  of 
the  day  were  engaged  in  such  games  as  pitching  quoits,  run- 
ning foot-races,  shooting  matches,  wrestling,  and,  sometimes 
a  good  fist  and  skull  fight.  But  the  curse  and  indignation  of 
the  neighborhood  rested  on  the  man  who  attempted,  as  we 
called  it,  "to  interfere  in  the  fight,  or  double-team,"  or  use  a 
weapon.  The  most  noted  men  were  John  Welch,  John 
McFarland,  Hodge  Reyburn,  Thomas  Tatham,  Gen.  Thomas 
Love  and  Ninian  Edmundson.  The  leading  families  of  Hay- 
wood were  the  Howells,  being  two  brothers,  John  and  Henry, 
who  came  from  Cabarrus  about  1818;  the  Osborns;  the  Plotts, 
Col.  Thomas  Lenoir;  the  Catheys,  Deavers,  McCrackens,  Pen- 


COUNTY  HISTORY  171 


lands,  Bryers;  David  Russell  of  Fines  creek,  Peter  Nolan, 
Robert  Penland,  Henry  Brown,  James  Green,  who  was  born 
in  1790,  and  was  living  in  January,  1891,  and  many  others. 

Joseph  Cathey.  He  was  born  March  12,  1803,  and  died 
June  1,  1874,  was  a  son  of  William  Cathey,  one  of  the  first 
settlers  on  Pigeon  river;  was  a  delegate  to  the  State  conven- 
tion of  1835,  and  in  the  senate  and  declined  further  political 
honors. 

Ninian  Edmundson.  He  was  born  in  Burke,  October  21, 
1789,  of  Maryland  ancestry,  and  came  with  his  father  to 
Pigeon  Valley  prior  to  1808,  where  the  family  remained.  He 
was  in  the  War  of  1812;  was  four  years  sheriff  of  Haywood. 
He  served  several  terms  in  the  State  senate  and  many  in  the 
house.  He  was  a  most  successful  farmer  and  useful  citizen. 
He  died  in  March,  1868,  highly  esteemed. 

James  Robert  Love.  He  was  born  in  November,  1798, 
and  died  November  22,  1863.  He  represented  Haywood 
county  many  times  in  the  legislature.  He  married  Miss 
Maria  Williamson  Coman,  daughter  of  Col.  James  Coman  of 
Raleigh,  who  died  January  9,  1842,  aged  75  years.  This 
marriage  occurred  November  26,  1822.  Charles  Loehr,  a 
German  professor  of  music,  taught  his  children  music  for 
years,  and  Loehr's  son  afterwards  became  professor  of  music  at 
the  Asheville  Female  college.  Love  was  so  anxious  to  encour- 
age the  building  of  a  railroad  that  he  set  aside  a  lot  for  the 
depot  long  before  he  died.  He  bought  large  boundaries  of 
vacant  and  unsurveyed  lands,  and  died  wealthy. 

Dr.  Samuel  L.  Love.  He  was  born  August  5,  1828,  and 
died  July  7,  1887.  He  received  his  diploma  as  a  physician 
from  the  University  of  Pennsylvania ;  but  was  soon  elected  to  the 
legislature,  where  he  served  many  terms.  He  was  a  surgeon  in 
1861  on  the  staff  of  Gov.  Ellis,  and  a  delegate  to  the  Consti- 
tutional convention  of  1875.  In  1876  he  was  elected  State 
auditor. 

Thomas  Isaac  Lenoir.  Was  born  on  Pigeon  river  August 
26,  1817,  a  son  of  Thomas  Lenoir  of  Wilkes.  He  went  to 
the  State  University,  and  did  not  return  to  Haywood  till 
1847.  He  was  a  farmer  and  stock  raiser  and  a  progressive 
citizen.  On  June  13,  1861,  he  married  Miss  Mary  E.  Garrett. 
He  died  January  5,  1881.  His  brother,  Walter  Lenoir,  was  a 
captain  in  the  Confederate  army,  and  spent  much  of  his  life 


172         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

at  Joseph  Shull's  in  Watauga  county,  where  he  died  July  26, 
1890,  aged  sixty-seven  years.  He  was  graduated  with  high 
honor  at  the  State  University.  He  studied  law  and  was 
admitted  in  1845.  He  married  Miss  Cornelia  Christian  of 
Staunton,  Va.,  in  1856,  but  she  died  soon  afterward.  He  lost 
a  leg  in  the  Civil  War  at  the  battle  of  Ox  Hill,  September,  1862. 

William  Johnston  was  the  fourth  son  of  Robert  John- 
ston, Sr.,  and  was  born  two  miles  from  Druhmore,  the  county 
town  of  Down  county,  Ireland,  July  26,  1807,  his  ancestors 
having  emigrated  from  Scotland  to  Ireland  in  1641.  He  came 
with  his  father's  family  to  Charleston,  South  Carolina,  in 
December,  1818,  and  settled  in  Pickens  District,  South  Caro- 
lina. About  1828  he  moved  to  Buncombe  county  and  mar- 
ried Lucinda,  the  only  daughter  of  James  Gudger  and  his 
wife  Annie  Love,  daughter  of  Col.  Robert  Love  of  Waynes- 
ville,  March  18,  1830,  and  settled  in  Waynesville,  where  he 
accumulated  a  large  fortune.  About  1857  he  moved  with  his 
family  to  Asheville.  After  the  Civil  War  he,  with  the  late 
Col.  L.  D.  Childs  of  Columbia,  South  Carolina,  became  the 
owner  of  the  Saluda  factory,  three  miles  from  that  city.  It 
was  burned,  however,  and  Mr.  Johnston  returned  to  Ashe- 
ville, where  he  died.  He  was  admittedly  the  most  success- 
ful business  man  in  this  entire  section  of  the  State;  and  some 
think  that  the  same  business  ability,  if  it  had  been  exerted 
in  almost  any  other  field,  would  have  produced  results  that 
would  have  rivaled  the  fortunes  of  some  of  our  merchant 
princes. 

Jerry  Vickers  was  a  tinner  who  worked  for  Win.  John- 
ston, and  also  made  gravestones  out  of  locust,  paradoxical  as 
that  may  appear;  but  his  head-boards  in  Waynesville  ceme- 
tery, with  names  and  dates  neatly  carved  in  this  almost  inde- 
structible wood,  are  still  sound  and  legible  today. 

Wm.  Pinckney  Welch.  He  was  born  in  Waynesville 
November  14,  1838,  and  died  at  Athens,  Ga.,  March  18,  1896. 
His  mother's  father  was  Robert  Love,  and  his  father  was 
William  the  son  of  John  Welch,  one  of  the  pioneers.  The 
Welches  came  from  Philadelphia  soon  after  the  Revolution- 
ary War.  He  attended  school  at  Col.  Stephen  Lee's  school 
in  Chunn's  cove,  after  which  he  went  to  Emory  and  Henry 
college,  leaving  there  in  May,  1861,  to  join  the  Confederate 
army.     He  was  a  lieutenant  in  the  25th  N.  C.  regiment,  and 


COUNTY  HISTORY  173 


took  part  in  the  battles  of  from  Gaines  Mills  to  Malvern 
Hill,  Sharpsburg,  Fredericksburg  and  in  the  campaign  near 
Kinston  and  Plymouth,  Petersburg,  Bermuda  Hundreds,  and 
surrendered  as  a  captain  with  Lee  at  Appomattox.  The  sur- 
vivors of  that  war  have  named  their  camp  after  him.  He 
practiced  law  after  the  war,  was  in  the  legislature  in  1868 
and  1870  and  helped  to  impeach  Gov.  Holden.  He  was  mar- 
ried first  to  Miss  Sarah  Cathey,  a  daughter  of  Col.  Joseph 
Cathey  of  Pigeon  river,  soon  after  the  war,  and  on  the  26th 
of  January,  1875,  he  married  Miss  Margaretta  Richards 
White  of  Athens,  Ga.,  his  first  wife  having  died  soon  after 
marriage.     No  braver  man  ever  lived  than  Pink  Welch. 

The   People   of   Macon.     Macon   was   organized   into   a 
county  in  1828  "and  was  singularly  fortunate  in  the  char- 
acter of  the  people  who  first  settled  it. 1 8     It  was  first  repre- 
sented in  the  legislature  in  1831  by  James  W.  Guinn  in  the 
senate  and  Thomas  Tatham  and  James  Whitaker  in  the  house, 
and  was  thereafter  represented   in  the  senate  four  times  by 
Gen.  Ben.  S.  Britton,  with  James  Whitaker,  Asaph  Enloe, 
James  W.  Guinn  and  Jacob  Siler  and  Thomas  Tatham  in  the 
house."     Luke  Barnard,  Wimer  Siler,  and  his  sons  William, 
Jesse  R.,  Jacob  and  John;  John  Dobson,  John  Howard,  Henry 
Addington,  Gen.  Thomas  Love,  Wm.  H.  Bryson,  James  K. 
Gray,    Mark    Coleman,    Samuel   Smith,    Nimrod    S.    Jarrett, 
George  Dickey,  Silas  McDowell,  George  Patton,  and  William 
Angel  were  typical  men  of  the  early  population.     "  Wm.  and 
Jacob  Siler  having  married  sisters  of  D.  L.  Swain,  and  Jesse 
R.  Siler  having  married  a  daughter  of  John  Patton  of  Bun- 
combe, sister  of  the  late  lamented  Mont.  Patton,  it  is  not 
difficult  to  account  for  the  great  moral  worth  of  the  county 
that  now  exists  and  has  from  its  first  settlement. 
Samuel  Smith  was  the  father  of  Bacchus  J.  Smith  and  Rev. 
C.  D.  Smith,  and  volunteered  as  a  messenger  to  bear  a  letter 
from  Gen.  McDowell,  at  the  Old  Fort,  to  the  principal  chief 
of  the  Cherokees,  at  the  Coosawattee  towns  about  the  close 
of  the  Revolutionary  War. 1 9     The  undertaking  was  full  of 
peril,  the  whole  country  west  of  the  Blue  Ridge  being  then  in 
the  Cherokee  Nation,  then  in  arms,  and  before  any  white 
men  lived  in  this  country.     The  Coosawattee  towns  were  on 
a  river  of  that  name  in  Georgia  at  least  250  miles  away;  but 
the  mission  was  accomplished  by  this  valiant  man  who  aided 


174         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

largely  in  bringing  these  people  into  peaceable  terms  with  the 
whites.  He  moved  to  Texas,  after  having  raised  a  family  of 
distinguished  sons  in  North  Carolina, — dying  in  Texas  when 
over  ninety  years  of  age. "  2  ° 

Franklin.  This  was  called  the  Sacred  Town  by  the  Cher- 
okees21  and  was  not  named  for  Benjamin  Franklin,  as  so 
many  think,  but  for  Jesse  Franklin,  once  governor  of  this 
State. 2  2  The  county  was  named  for  John  Haywood,  treasurer 
of  the  State  in  1787.  According  to  Rev.  C.  D.  Smith  in  his 
Brief  History  of  Macon  county,  p.  2,  Macon  was  never  a  part 
of  Buncombe  county,  because  its  western  boundary  line  never 
extended  west  of  the  Meigs  and  Freeman  line  of  1802,  and 
the  territory  embraced  in  Macon  and  a  portion  of  Jackson  and 
Swain  was  acquired  from  the  Cherokees  by  treaty  in  1817-18. 
In  the  spring  of  1820  the  State  commissioners,  Jesse  Franklin 
and  James  Meabin,  in  accordance  with  an  act  of  the  legisla- 
ture, came  to  the  Tennessee  valley  and  organized  for  the 
survey  of  lands  "a  corps  of  surveyors  of  whom  Captain  Rob- 
ert Love,  a  son  of  Gen.  Thomas  Love,  who  settled  the  place 
at  the  bridge  where  Capt.  T.  M.  Angel  recently  lived23,  was 
chief.  Robert  Love  had  been  an  honored  and  brave  captain 
in  the  war  of  1812,  was  much  respected  on  account  of  his 
patriotic  devotion  to  American  liberty,  and  was  consequently 
a  man  of  large  influence."  Watauga  plains,  where  the  late 
Mr.  Watson  lived,  was  first  settled  upon  for  the  county  site 
and  400  acres,  the  land  appropriated  for  that  purpose,  was 
located  and  surveyed  there;  but  Captain  Love  favored  the 
present  site,  and  by  a  vote  of  all  six  companies  of  surveyors 
then  in  the  field,  on  the  ridge  where  Mrs.  H.  T.  Sloan  resided 
in  1905,  the  400  acres  appropriated  was  located. 

First  Settlers  in  Franklin.  Joshua  Roberts,  Esq.,  built 
the  first  house  on  the  Jack  Johnston  lot,  "a  small  round  log 
cabin;"  but  Irad  S.  Hightower  built  the  first  " house  proper," 
one  built  of  hewn  logs  on  the  lot  where  stands  the  Allman 
hotel.  Capt.  N.  S.  Jarrett  bought  the  first  house  proper, 
then  Gideon  F.  Morris  got  it,  and  then  John  R.  Allman. 
Lindsey  Fortune  built  a  cabin  on  the  lot  where  the  Jarrett 
hotel  stood  in  1894,  and  Samuel  Robinson  built  on  the  lot 
occupied  in  1905  by  Mrs.  Robinson.  Silas  McDowell  first 
built  where  the  residence  of  D.  C.  Cunningham  stood,  and 
Dillard  Love  built  the  first  house  on  the  Trotter  lot.     N.  S. 


COUNTY  HISTORY  175 

Jarrett  built  on  the  lot  owned  by  S.  L.  Rogers,  and  John  F. 
Dobson  first  improved  the  corner  lot  owned  in  1894  by  C.  C. 
Smith.  James  K.  Gray  built  the  second  hewn-log  house  on 
the  lot  owned  by  Mrs.  A.  W.  Bell,  and  Jesse  R.  Siler,  one  of 
the  first  settlers,  built  at  the  foot  of  the  town  hill  where  Judge 
G.  A.  Jones  resided.  He  also  built  the  second  house  on  the 
Gov.  Robinson  lot  and  the  brick  store  and  dwelling  owned 
in  1894  by  the  late  Capt.  A.  P.  Munday.  James  W.  Guinn 
or  Mr.  Whitaker  built  the  house  afterwards  owned  by  Mr. 
Jack  Johnston.  John  R.  Allman  opened  the  first  hotel  in 
Franklin,  followed  soon  afterward  by  a  house  at  the  "foot  of 
the  hill"  built  by  Jesse  R.  Siler.24  " 

Prominent  Residents  of  Macon.  2  5  James  Cansler  was 
born  February  22,  1820,  in  Rutherford  county,  and  died  in 
Macon,  July  24,  1907.  He  aided  in  the  removal  of  the  Cher- 
okees  in  1836-38,  and  was  a  captain  in  the  Civil  war.  Cap- 
tain James  G.  Crawford  was  born  May  6,  1832,  and  in  1855 
was  appointed  deputy  clerk,  being  elected  sheriff  in  1858.  He 
was  a  captain  in  the  Civil  War  in  the  39th  regiment,  serving 
till  the  end.  He  was  in  the  legislature,  and  in  1875  was  elected 
register  of  deeds,  which  place  he  held  till  near  the  end  of  his 
life.  He  married  Miss  Virginia  A.  Butler.  One  of  the  early 
settlers  was  Henry  G.  Woodfin,  a  physician  and  brother  of 
Col.  N.  W.  Woodfin  of  Buncombe.  He  was  born  December 
27,  1811,  and  was  married  June  5,  1838  to  Miss  E.  A.  B.  How- 
arth.  He  settled  first  on  Cartoogechaye,  but  later  moved  to 
Franklin.  He  was  a  member  of  the  county  court,  serving  as 
chairman,  and  was  in  the  legislature  two  terms.  He  died  in 
1881.  He  stood  high  as  a  physician  and  citizen.  Dr.  James  M. 
Lyle  came  to  Macon  before  the  Civil  War  and  formed  a  copart- 
nership with  Dr.  Woodfin.  He  married  Miss  Laura  Siler, 
and  after  her  death,  he  married  Miss  Nannie  Moore.  Dr. 
G.  N.  Rush,  of  Coweta  station,  was  born  in  1824,  in  Rock- 
ingham county,  Va.,  and  read  medicine  under  Dr.  A.  W. 
Brabson,  graduated  in  medicine  at  University  of  Nashville 
in  1854.  He  served  in  the  legislature  in  1876-7.  In  1854  he 
married  Miss  Elizabeth  Thomas.  He  died  December  12, 
1897.  Dr.  A.  C.  Brabson  was  born  in  Tennessee  in  1842, 
served  through  the  Civil  War,  graduated  from  the  College  at 
Nashville  in  medicine,  1866-67,  married  Miss  Cora  Rush, 
March  30,   1881.     Mark  May,  son  of  Frederick  and  Nellie 


176         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

May,  was  born  in  Yadkin  county  December  7,  1812,  and 
married  Belinda  Beaman  at  the  age  of  24.  Early  in  life  he  was 
ordained  a  Baptist  minister,  coming  to  Macon  county  after 
serving  as  a  minister  17  years  in  Yadkin  and  two  years  in 
Tennessee.  He  is  the  father  of  Hon.  Jeff  May  of  Flats,  N.  C. 
Rev.  Joshua  Amnions  was  born  in  Burke,  February  14,  1800, 
and  moved  to  Macon  in  1822,  settled  on  Rabbit  creek, 
was  ordained  a  Baptist  minister  at  Franklin  in  1835,  and 
died  September  27,  1877,  after  a  very  useful  life.  Logan 
Berry  was  born  December  18,  1813,  in  Lincoln  county,  and 
died  February  8,  1910.  He  married  Matilda  Postell  of  Bun- 
combe, served  as  county  commissioner,  and  was  a  useful  and 
respected  citizen.  Stephen  Munday  was  born  in  Person 
county  about  the  beginning  of  the  nineteenth  century  but 
moved  to  Buncombe  county  before  the  Civil  War,  where  he 
built  a  mill  at  Sulphur  Springs.  He  then  moved  to  Macon, 
and  lived  with  his  son,  the  late  Alexander  P.  Munday  at 
Aquone,  till  his  death  in  the  seventies. 2  6  He  was  a  useful 
and  highly  respected  citizen.  His  son  Alexander  P.  Munday 
married  Miss  Addie  Jarrett  a  daughter  of  the  late  Nimrod 
S.  Jarrett,  and  they  resided  first  at  the  Meadows  in  what  is 
now  Graham  county  about  1859,  where  they  remained  till 
after  the  Civil  War,  moving  thence  to  Aquone  where  they 
died  early  in  this  century.  Captain  Nimrod  S.  Jarrett  was 
born  in  Buncombe  county  in  1800,  married  a  Miss  McKee,  and 
moved  to  Haywood  county  in  1830,  engaging  in  the  "sang" 
business,  till  he  moved  to  Macon,  where  he  resided  at  Aquone 
in  1835,  afterwards  at  the  Apple  Tree  place  six  miles  down 
the  river,  and  still  later  at  Jarretts  station  on  the  Murphy 
railroad.  He  owned  large  tracts  of  mountain  lands,  and  the 
talc  mine  now  operated  at  Hewitts.  He  was  murdered  in 
September,  1873,  by  Bayless  Henderson,  a  tramp  from  Ten- 
nessee. Henderson  was  executed  for  the  crime,  at  Webster, 
in  1874. 

John  Kelly.  He  was  born  in  Virginia,  married  a  Miss 
Pierce,  a  neice  and  adopted  daughter  of  Bishop  Pierce,  and 
moved  to  Buncombe  where  he  lived  till  about  1819,  when  he 
moved  to  Macon  to  what  is  now  known  as  the  Barnard  farm, 
but  soon  moved  to  the  Hays  place,  waiting  for  the  land  sale, 
at  which  he  bought  a  boundary  of  land  lying  in  both  Georgia 
and   North  Carolina,   including  Mud  and   Kelly's  creeks  in 


COUNTY  HISTORY  177 

Georgia.  His  third  son,  Samuel,  was  born  in  Westmoreland 
county,  Va.,  and  in  1825  bought  land  six  miles  from  Franklin, 
where  he  lived  till  his  death  in  1852.  He  married  Miss  Mary 
Harry.  Three  of  his  sons  enlisted  in  the  Confederate  army, 
where  one  was  killed  in  battle,  the  other  two  serving  till  the 
close  of  hostilities.     They  were  N.  J.  and  M.  L.  Kelly. 2  7 

Nathan  G.  Allman.  28  He  was  born  in  Haywood,  Jan- 
uary 5,  1818,  and  came  to  Franklin  in  1846,  where  he  lived 
46  years  continuously.  He  was  a  merchant  and  hotel  keeper, 
and  died  February  17,  1892.  He  was  a  useful  and  influential 
citizen. 

Dr.  W.  Levy  Love.  He  was  born  in  Chautauqua,  N.  Y.,  Sep- 
tember 30,  1827,  and  early  in  life  went  to  Kentucky  with  his 
father.  There  he  joined  the  army  and  went  to  the  war  in 
Mexico,  taking  part  in  several  battles.  Returning,  he  was 
educated  at  Bacon  college,  Kentucky,  where  he  also  studied 
medicine,  completing  his  course  at  Philadelphia.  He  then 
moved  to  Franklin,  where,  in  1868,  he  married  Miss  Maggie, 
a  daughter  of  N.  G.  Allman.  In  this  year  he  was  elected  to 
the  State  senate,  where  he  served  six  years.  He  was  also  a 
lawyer,  enjoying  a  fine  practice.  He  died  July  29,  1884. 
He  was  generally  known  as  Levi  Love. 

Jackson  Johnston.  He  was  born  in  Pendleton  district, 
S.  C,  November  25,  1820,  and  at  sixteen  years  of  age  removed 
to  Waynesville,  where  for  several  years  he  clerked  for  his 
brother  William.  While  there,  he  married  Miss  Osborne  of 
Haywood  county;  late  in  the  forties  he  removed  to  Franklin, 
and  became  a  merchant,  accumulating  a  handsome  fortune. 
His  first  wife  having  died  he  married  Miss  Eugenia  Siler  in 
1859.  She  was  a  daughter  of  William  Siler.  His  hospitality 
and  humor  were  famous.  He  died  April  10,  1892.  He  was 
charitable,  intelligent  and  of  high  character. 

Thomas  Tatham.  He  served  in  the  State  senate  from  Hay- 
wood in  1817,  removed  to  Macon  and  served  in  the  legislature 
from  that  county  from  1831  to  1834  inclusive,  after  which  he 
removed  to  Valley  river  where  he  died.  He  was  a  good  man 
and  left  many  friends. 

James  Whitaker.  He  was  born  in  Rowan  April  3,  1779, 
one  mile  from  Lexington,  now  Davidson.  He  was  a  justice 
of  the  peace  in  that  county  and  removed  to  Buncombe  in  1817, 
from  which,  in  1818  he  was  elected  to  the  legislature  and 

W.  N.C. 12 


178         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

served  till  1823,  and  removed  to  Macon  in  1828,  lived  one  mile 
from  Franklin,  and  was  elected  to  the  legislature  in  1828  and 
served  continuously  till  1833.  He  was  appointed  Superior 
court  clerk  at  the  first  term  of  Cherokee  county,  and  was 
elected  to  the  legislature  from  that  county  in  1832  and  1842. 
He  died  on  Valley  river  November  2,  1871,  aged  92  years. 
He  was  a  man  of  great  intellect,  high  character  and  unsullied 
reputation;  a  stern  man,  a  strong  Baptist  and  did  perhaps  as 
much  for  his  church  as  any  other  man  in  the  State. 

Yancey.  Yancey  county  was  formed  in  1833.  It  was  cut 
off  from  Burke  and  Buncombe.  Three  counties  have  since 
been  partly  formed  out  of  Yancey.  They  are:  Watauga 
in  1849;  Madison  in  1851;  and  Mitchell  in  1861.  Yancey 
county  is  now  bounded  on  the  north  by  Mitchell  county  and 
the  State  of  Tennessee;  on  the  east  by  Mitchell  and  McDowell 
counties;  on  the  south  by  McDowell  and  Madison;  on  the 
west  by  Madison  and  Buncombe  counties  and  the  Tennessee 
line.  Mt.  Mitchell,  the  highest  mountain  in  the  eastern  half 
of  North  America,  is  in  Yancey  county.  It  was  named  for 
Dr.  Elisha  Mitchell,  a  teacher  in  the  University,  who  explored 
it.  Mt.  Mitchell  is  a  part  of  the  Black  mountains  which 
extend  partly  across  this  county.  Yancey  county  contains 
eighteen  mountain  peaks  that  rise  above  6,300  feet.  These 
mountains  are  very  fertile  and  are  covered  with  great  forests 
of  gigantic  trees.  Cherry  trees  in  Yancey  often  grow  four 
feet,  the  walnut  eight  feet,  and  the  poplar  ten  feet  in  diameter. 

The  county  was  named  for  Bartlett  Yancey,  a  native  of 
Caswell  county.  He  was  educated  at  the  University  of  North 
Carolina,  studied  law,  and  became  eminent  in  his  profession. 
He  was  twice  a  member  of  the  Congress  of  the  United  States, 
and  eight  times  a  member  of  the  senate  of  North  Carolina. 
He  was  one  of  the  first  men  in  the  State  to  favor  public  schools 
for  all  the  people. 

The  county  seat  of  Yancey  is  Burnsville,  named  in  honor 
of  Capt.  Otway  Burns,  of  Beaufort,  N.  C.  He  won  fame  in 
the  war  of  1812  against  England.  With  his  vessel,  the  "Snap- 
Dragon,"  he  sailed  up  and  down  the  Atlantic  coast,  captur- 
ing many  English  vessels  and  destroying  the  British  trade. 
He  had  many  wild  adventures,  and  his  name  became  a  terror 
to  British  merchants.  Finally  the  English  government  sent 
a  war  vessel,  called  the  "Leopard,"  to  capture  Captain  Burns. 


COUNTY  HISTORY  179 

The  "Leopard"  succeeded  in  capturing  the  "Snap-Dragon" 
while  Captain  Burns  was  on  shore  sick.  After  the  war  he 
was  frequently  a  member  of  the  legislature.  A  monument 
to  his  memory  was  recently  erected  at  Burnsville. 

Yancey  has  an  approximate  area  of  193,000  acres,  with  an 
average  assessed  value  of  $2.60  per  acre.  Over  40  per  cent 
of  the  land  is  held  in  large  tracts  of  1,000  acres  or  more  in 
extent.  These  holdings  are  valued  chiefly  for  their  timber 
and  are  held  principally  as  investments. 

The  topography  is  generally  rough  and  the  average  eleva- 
tion is  high.  The  Black  mountain  range  in  the  southern 
portion  of  the  county  contains  many  peaks  more  than  6,000 
feet  high,  and  Mount  Mitchell,  the  highest  peak  east  of  the 
Rockies,  rises  to  an  elevation  of  6,711  feet  above  sea  level. 
In  the  northern  and  western  sections  of  the  county  the  ridges 
have  an  average  elevation  of  about  4,000  feet  above  sea  level, 
Bald  mountain  rising  to  5,500  feet. 

Four  considerable  streams,  South  Toe  and  Caney  rivers, 
and  Jacks  and  Crabtree  creeks,  rise  within  the  county,  and 
flowing  in  a  northerly  direction  empty  into  Toe  river,  which 
forms  the  northern  boundary  of  the  county. 

Mrs.  Nancy  Anderson  Gardner.  There  are  many  old 
people  in  these  mountains,  but  Mrs.  Nancy  Gardner  of  Burns- 
ville was  98  the  15th  of  January,  1913.  She  was  in  full  pos- 
session of  all  her  faculties,  and  in  1912  furnished  for  this  his- 
tory a  list  of  names  of  the  first  settlers  of  Yancey  county. 
Her  husband's  father  was  Thomas  Gardner,  who  was  born 
in  Virginia  in  1793,  and  died  in  Yancey  in  1853.  He  settled 
on  Cane  river  when  a  boy.  Her  father  was  W.  M.  Anderson 
and  her  mother  Patty  Elkins,  who  was  born  in  Tennessee  in 
1790.  Her  parents  were  married  in  1809.  James  Anderson 
was  from  Ireland  and  served  in  Virginia  with  the  Americans 
during  the  Revolutionary  War,  after  which  he  moved  (1870), 
first  to  Surry,  and  then  to  Little  Ivy,  where  D.  W.  Angel  now 
lives  and  where  Mrs.  Gardner  was  born,  January  15,  1815. 
Her  husband  was  William  Gardner,  to  whom  she  was  mar- 
ried March  22,  1832.  Thomas  Dillard,  father  of  the  wife  of 
Robert  Love,  was  her  mother's  uncle.     She  died  early  in  1913. 

First  Settlers  of  Burnsville.  Mrs.  Gardner  gave  the 
following  as  the  first  settlers  of  Burnsville:  John  L.  Williams 
and  his  sons  Edward  and  Joshua;  Dr.  Job,  Dr.  John  Yancey, 


180         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Abner  Jarvis,  Dr.  Jacob  Stanley,  Samuel  Flemming,  Gen. 
John  W.  McElroy,  James  Greenlee,  John  W.  Garland,  " Knock" 
Boone,  Amos  Ray,  W.  M.  Westall,  J.  Bacchus  Smith,  Joseph 
Shepard,  Adam  Broyles,  Mitchell  Broyles,  W.  M.  Lewis, 
John  Woodfin,  James  Anderson,  Milton  P.  Penland,  Jack 
Stewart  and  John  Bailey. 

First  Settlers  of  Yancey.  Among  them  Mrs.  Gard- 
ner mentioned  the  following,  giving  also  the  names  of  their 
wives:  Henry  Roland,  Berry  Hensley,  Ed.  and  James 
McMahan,  Thomas  Ray,  Edward  Wilson,  Jacob  Phipps,  Jerry 
Boons,  Hiram  Ray,  John  Bailey,  John  Griffith,  Joseph  Shep- 
ard, Strowbridge  Young,  James  Proffitt,  James  Greenlee, 
Blake  Piercy,  Thomas  Briggs,  John  McElroy,  Wm.  Angel, 
James  Evans,  W.  M.  Angelin,  John  Allen,  Rev.  Samuel  Byrd. 

Interesting  Facts  About  Old  Times.  Mrs.  Gardner's 
grandfather,  James  Anderson,  was  said  to  be  the  first  Methodist 
west  of  the  Blue  Ridge.  She  remembered  Parson  Brownlow  and 
the  "lie  bill"  suit  and  the  sale  of  his  bridle,  saddle  and  horse; 
also  that  William  Angel  lived  near  the  present  site  of  Burns- 
ville  but  moved  to  Georgia,  carrying  his  family  and  "One 
hundred  geese,  which  they  drove."  She  gave  not  only  the 
names  of  the  wives  of  the  first  settlers,  but  their  children, 
and  where  the  first  settlers  lived.  Also,  that  John  Bailey 
married  Hiram  Ray's  daughter  and  donated  the  land  for  the 
town  of  Burnsville;  that  Joseph  Shepard  married  Betsy  Hor- 
ton,  the  grandparents  of  the  late  Judge  J.  S.  Adams;  that 
Thomas  Ray  married  Ivey  Hensley  and  lived  in  Cane  river 
valley;  that  Jacob  Phipps  married  Nancy  Hampton,  and 
lived  four  miles  west  of  Burnsville;  that  Edward  Wilson  mar- 
ried Polly  Gilbert  and  lived  on  Cane  river;  that  Jerry  Boone 
was  a  noted  blacksmith  and  married  Sallie  McMahan.  They 
lived  where  Burnsville  now  stands;  also  that  Hiram  Ray 
married  a  Miss  Cox  and  was  a  wealthy  and  influential  man. 
Also  that  Zepheniah  Horton  lived  one  mile  west  of  Burns- 
ville, but  none  of  his  descendants  now  live  in  Yancey,  though 
some  live  in  Buncombe  and  the  State  of  Kansas;  that  Henry 
Roland  married  Sallie  Robinson  and  lived  on  Cane  river;  that 
Berry  Hensley  married  Betsy  Littleton,  among  whose  de- 
scendants were  B.  S.,  W.,  and  Jas.  B.  Hensley.  Edward  and 
James  McMahan  were  the  first  settlers  of  Pensacola,  and 
Strowbridge   Young   married   Patty   Wilson.      She   spoke   of 


COUNTY  HISTORY  181 

James  Proffitt  as  having  lived  on  Bald  creek,  and  of  his  direct 
descendants,  but  did  not  give  the  name  of  his  wife.  She 
also  spoke  of  James  Greenlee  as  having  married  Polly  Poteet 
and  living  on  Cane  river,  but  having  had  no  children;  Blake 
Piercy  who  married  Fanny  Turner,  and  lived  on  Indian  creek, 
Thomas  Briggs  who  married  Jane  Wilson  and  lived  on  Bald 
creek,  John  McElroy  who  married  Miss  Jamison  and  lived 
on  Bald  creek,  James  Evans  who  married  a  Miss  Bailey  and 
lived  on  Jack's  creek,  W.  M.  Angelin  who  married  Miss  Betsy 
Austin  and  lived  on  Banks  creek,  John  Allen  who  married 
Molly  Turner,  and  the  Rev.  Samuel  Byrd  who  married  a  Miss 
Briggs  and  lived  in  the  northern  part  of  the  county,  naming 
many  of  his  descendants. 

Fine  River  Bottoms.  Those  splendid  lands,  extending 
from  the  mouth  of  Prices  creek  up  Cane  river  to  within  two 
or  three  miles  of  Burnsville,  were  in  possession  of  white  people 
as  early  as  1787,  and  were  originally  granted  to  John  McKnitt 
Alexander  and  Wm.  Sharp.  The  640-acre  tract  at  the  mouth 
of  Bald  and  Prices  creeks  is  owned  by  descendants  of  Thomas 
L.  Ray,  who  was  among  the  first  settlers  of  Yancey  county. 
The  Creed  Young  place,  originally  the  John  Griffith  farm, 
on  Crabtree,  about  two  miles  from  Burnsville,  is  another  fine 
farm.  Milton  P.  Penland  was  another  early  settler,  and 
owned  valuable  land  near  Burnsville.  He  was  a  man  of 
influence  and  ability. 

Celo  or  Bolen's  Pyramid.  What  is  known  on  govern- 
ment maps  as  Celo  Peak  used  to  be  called  Bolen's  Pyramid; 
but  why  either  name  should  have  been  given  to  this  northern- 
most peak  of  the  Blacks  is  not  known,  though,  as  there  is  a 
Bolen's  creek  between  it  and  Burnsville,  it  is  probable  that  a 
man  of  that  name  once  lived  near  what  is  now  called  Athlone. 

Henderson  County.  3  °  Until  1838  Henderson  was  a  part 
of  Buncombe,  and  the  story  of  its  first  settlement  belongs  to 
that  county.  .  .  .  But  in  1838,  when  Hodge  Rabun  was 
in  the  senate  and  Montreville  Patton  and  Philip  Brittain  were 
in  the  house,  it  was  erected  into  a  separate  county  and  named 
in  honor  of  Leonard  Henderson,  once  chief  justice  of  the 
State,  the  county  seat  also  having  been  named  in  his  honor. 
In  1850  it  had  only  6,483  population,  while  in  1910  it  contained 
16,262. 


182         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

"The  crest  of  the  Blue  Ridge,  in  Henderson  county,  is  an 
undulating  plateau,  which  will  not  be  recognized  by  the  trav- 
eler in  crossing.  The  Saluda  mountains,  beyond  Green  river, 
are  the  boundary  line  of  vision  on  the  south.  The  general 
surface  features  of  the  central  part  of  this  pearl  of  counties 
will  be  best  seen  by  a  glance  at  the  pictorial  view  from  Dun 
Cragin,  near  Hendersonville. "  3 1 

With  a  general  altitude  about  that  of  Asheville,  with  broad 
river  bottoms  along  the  French  Broad,  Mud  creek  and  else- 
where, its  agricultural  and  grazing  advantages  surpass  those 
of  Buncombe;  while  as  a  summer  and  health  resort,  Hender- 
sonville, its  county  seat,  with  its  fine  and  well-kept  hotels 
and  boarding  houses,  surpasses  in  many  important  respects 
the  only  town  that  exceeds  it  in  population,  the  famed  city 
of  Asheville.  The  social  charm  of  this  beautiful  place,  as  well 
as  of  Flat  Rock  and  Fletcher,  is  at  least  not  surpassed  in 
Buncombe  or  in  Asheville  itself.  Hendersonville  has  every- 
thing in  the  way  of  hotels,  boarding  houses,  clubs,  banks, 
street  railways,  parks,  lights,  water,  livery  and  other  advan- 
tages that  could  be  wished.  The  points  of  interest  in  the 
immediate  vicinity  are  numerous  and  appealing.  Last  sum- 
mer there  were  15,000  visitors  in  town  and  25,000  in  the 
county.     The  churches  represent  every  denomination. 

John  Clayton,  of  Mills  river  section,  was  in  the  legislature 
in  1827  and  1828,  and  in  the  senate  in  1833.  Largely  through 
his  influence  Henderson  was  formed  into  a  separate  county. 
He  was  the  grandfather  of  Mrs.  Mattie  Fletcher  Egerton, 
first  wife  of  Dr.  J.  L.  Egerton  and  great-grandfather  of  Mrs. 
Wm.  Redin  Kirk.  He  with  his  son,  John,  was  among  the 
first  jurors  of  this  county.  R.  Irvine  Allen,  brother  of  Dr. 
T.  A.  Allen,  the  latter  being  the  oldest  male  inhabitant  of  this 
county,  and  Jesse  Rhodes  were  among  the  chain-bearers  when 
the  county  lines  were  first  surveyed.  A  committee,  consist- 
ing of  Col.  John  Clayton,  Col.  Killian,  and  Hugh  Johnston, 
was  appointed  to  select  and  lay  off  a  county  seat,  and  their 
first  choice  was  the  land  at  what  is  now  called  Horse  Shoe  in  1839. 
But  there  was  so  much  dissatisfaction  with  this  that  two 
factions  arose,  called  the  River  and  the  Road  parties,  the 
River  party  favoring  the  Horse  Shoe  site,  it  having  been  on 
the  French  Broad  river.  In  1839,  however,  the  Road  party 
enjoined  the  sale  in  lots  of  the  land  selected  at  Horse  Shoe,  and 


COUNTY  HISTORY  183 


the  controversy  soon  waxed  so  warm  that  the  legislature 
authorized  an  election  to  determine  the  matter  by  popular 
vote,  resulting  in  the  success  of  the  Road  party.  Judge 
Mitchell  King  of  Charleston,  S.  C,  who  had  been  among  the 
first  settlers  of  this  section  and  owned  much  of  the  land  where 
Hendersonville  now  stands,  conveyed  fifty  acres  for  the  county 
site;  and  this  was  laid  off  into  lots  and  broad,  level  right-angled 
streets,  and  sold  in  1840.     Dr.  Allen  died  early  in  1914. 

Hendersonville.  At  the  time  the  Civil  War  commenced 
there  were  on  Main  street,  the  Episcopal  church,  completed 
save  for  the  spire;  the  Shipp  house,  adjoining,  which  for- 
merly stood  where  the  Pine  Grove  lodge  now  stands,  and  where 
Lawyer  Shipp,  father  of  Bartlett  Shipp,  Esq.,  lived.  The 
present  Sample  home  was  then  owned  by  the  Rev.  Collin 
Hughes,  the  Episcopal  clergyman.  The  old  Virginia  House 
stood  on  the  corner  now  occupied  by  the  First  National  bank, 
and  was  built  by  David  Miller  and  William  Deaver,  the  latter 
having  been  killed  in  the  Civil  War.  It  was  conducted  many 
years  by  Mr.  C.  C.  Chase;  but  about  eighteen  years  ago  it 
became  the  property  of  Hall  Poole.  A  still  older  house  was 
the  old  hotel  built  by  John  Mills,  and  stood  on  the  present 
site  of  the  St.  John.  It  later  became  the  property  of  Colonel 
Ripley,  and  was  known  far  and  wide  as  the  Ripley  House. 
There  was  nothing  south  of  the  court  house  site  except  the 
old  Ripley  residence,  built  by  the  Kings,  and  the  house  that 
is  now  Col.  Pickens'  residence.  The  only  two  houses  stand- 
ing prior  to  the  formation  of  Henderson  county  in  the  town 
of  Hendersonville,  and  remaining  unchanged  now,  are  the 
Arledge  house  on  Main  street,  and  the  stone  office-building  in 
front  of  the  Pine  Grove  lodge,  near  the  Episcopal  church. 

Bowman's  Bluff.  About  forty  years  ago  a  small  colony 
of  English  people  came  to  this  section,  and  bought  a  vast 
acreage  of  land.  Among  them  were  the  Valentines,  well 
known  in  Hendersonville  for  many  years,  the  Thomases, 
the  Jeudweines,  the  Malletts  (who  still  live  on  their  place) 
and  the  Holmeses,  still  owning  the  place  above  referred  to.  It 
would  be  hard  to  describe  this  beautiful  place.  To  the  south 
of  the  old-fashioned  house  lies  a  tangle  of  garden,  with  its 
riot  of  vines,  and  its  numerous  overgrown  arbors,  and  old 
trees  trimmed  in  fantastic  shapes.  The  house  is  approached 
by  a  long  winding  drive,  between  great  old  pines,  and  just  in 


184         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 


front  of  the  house  is  the  immense  bluff,  whereon  wild  crab- 
apples  bloom  in  profusion.  This  falls  away,  a  sheer  descent 
many  feet  to  the  river  below,  and  it  was  here  that  Mary 
Bowman  was  said  to  have  leaped  to  her  death  many  years  ago, 
desperate  over  a  hopeless  love. 

Centrally  located  to  what  was  this  English  colony  and  on 
top  of  a  hill,  sits  the  little  Episcopal  church  where  they  were 
wont  to  worship  on  Sunday,  and  which  is  used  irregular^ 
still. 

Mr.  Frank  Valentine,  who  came  to  America  in  this  colony, 
was  educated  at  Cambridge,  England,  graduated  with  highest 
honor,  holding  several  degrees.  He  went  from  Bowman's 
Bluff  to  Asheville,  and  later  moved  to  Henderson ville,  where 
he  spent  his  remaining  days.  He  was  known  as  one  of  the 
finest  educators  in  Western  North  Carolina. 

Former  Citizens.  Peter  Stradley  lived  at  Old  Flat  Rock, 
and  in  1870  died  there  almost  100  years  old,  highly  respected 
and  loved;  Joseph  Dotson  lived  to  the  age  of  104  on  his  farm 
near  Bat  Cave,  and  made  baskets  and  brooms.  He  was  cap- 
tured while  in  the  Confederate  army  but  escaped,  running  18 
miles  over  the  ice.  Govan  Edney  of  Edneyville,  also  lived  to 
a  great  age,  and  had  a  large  experience  as  a  hunter.  Harvey 
Johnston  and  his  wife  once  owned  nearly  all  the  land  on  the 
west  side  of  South  Main  street,  Hendersonville,  and  having 
no  horse,  managed  to  make  fine  crops  notwithstanding.  Robert 
Thomas,  first  sheriff  of  Henderson  county,  was  killed  by  bush- 
whackers during  the  Civil  War.  Solomon  Jones  lived  on  Mount 
Hebron,  and  was  known  as  a  builder  of  roads,  having  con- 
structed one  from  Hendersonville  to  Mount  Hebron,  and  an- 
other up  Saluda  mountain;  lived  to  be  nearly  100,  and  made 
his  own  tombstone. 

Business  Enterprises.  The  Freeze  Hosiery  mills  were 
opened  June  15,  1912;  the  Skyland  Hosiery  Co.,  at  Flat  Rock 
make  silk  and  cotton  hose  and  have  been  operating  several 
years;  the  Green  River  Mfg.  Co.,  at  Tuxedo,  six  miles  south 
of  Hendersonville,  was  started  in  1909.  They  make  combed 
peelers  and  Egyptain  yarns,  their  annual  output  being  350,- 
000  pounds;  employing  250  hands,  of  whom  200  are  skilled.  They 
support  an  excellent  school  eight  months  every  year;  the  Case 
Canning  factory  on  the  Edneyville  road  six  miles  from  Hen- 
dersonville, at  Dana,  has  a  capacity  of  500,000 *cans  a  season; 


COUNTY  HISTORY  185 


the  Hendersonville  Light  &  Power  Co.,  73^  miles  east  of  Hen- 
dersonville,  have  1,250  horsepower,  using  only  400  at  present; 
George  Stephens  operates  a  mission  furniture  factory,  at  Lake 
Kanuga,  six  miles  out,  where  also  is  Kanuga  club. 

Country  Resorts.  Besides  the  excellent  hotels  in  Hender- 
sonville, there  is  a  fine  hotel  at  Osceola  lake,  one  mile  from 
town  on  the  Kanuga  road;  Kanuga  club  on  Kanuga  lake; 
Highland  lake  club,  one  and  a  half  miles  out  on  the  Flat  Rock 
road,  with  cottages,  is  a  stock  company;  Chimney  Rock, 
twelve  miles  east,  is  in  the  Hickory  Nut  canon;  Buck  Forest, 
now  the  property  of  the  Frank  Coxe  estate,  was  for  years  a  sum- 
mer resort,  and  the  falls  in  the  vicinity  are  noted;  Fletcher, 
near  the  Buncombe  line  is  also  popular,  and  the  social  charms 
of  the  neighborhood  are  well  recognized;  Buck  Shoals  is  near, 
and  the  famous  Rugby  Grange,  the  attractive  country  estate 
of  the  Westfelts  of  New  Orleans,  is  one  of  the  "show-places" 
of  Western  North  Carolina. 

A  Literary  Curiosity.  A  poem  written  on  white  satin  in 
quatrain  form,  into  each  of  which  was  incorporated  a  clause 
of  the  Lord's  prayer,  is  known  to  have  been  written  by  Mrs. 
Susan  Baring  and  is  now  in  the  possession  of  a  Henderson- 
ville lady. 

Settling  the  Graham  Boundary  Line.  By  ch.  202,  Pub. 
Laws,  1897,  343,  the  county  surveyors  of  Cherokee  and  Gra- 
ham were  authorized  to  locate  the  line  between  these  two  coun- 
ties and  Tennessee,  according  to  the  calls  of  the  act  of  1821. 

Cherokee  and  Murphy.  As  early  as  1836  the  legislature 
provided  that  the  Indian  lands  west  of  Macon  should  remain 
under  the  jurisdiction  of  that  county  till  a  new  county  should 
be  formed  for  them,  whose  county  seat  should  be  named  Mur- 
phy. (Rev.  St.  1837,  Vol.  ii,  p.  213  and  p.  214).  In  1842 
the  State  granted  to  A.  Smith,  chairman  of  the  County  court, 
433  acres  for  a  court  house,  etc.  (Deed  Book  A,  p.  429, 
dated  March  23,  1842.) 3  2 

Old  County  Buildings.  The  old  jail  was  back  of  the  J. 
W.  Cooper  residence  and  the  whipping  post  stood  near  where 
a  street  now  runs,  and  the  first  court  house,  a  very  plain  and 
unpretentious  affair,  stood  at  the  intersection  of  the  two  main 
roads  from  the  country.  The  new  court  house  was  built 
where  the  present  one  now  stands,  in  1891,  at  a  cost  of  about 
$20,000.,  but  it  was  burned  in  1892.     In  1893  and  1894   it 


186         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

was  rebuilt,  as  the  marble  foundations  and  brick  walls  stood 
intact  after  the  fire,  at  a  cost  of  $12,000.  There  was  no 
insurance  on  the  burned  building. 

Preeminent  Advantages.  Murphy's  location  between  two 
clear  mountain  rivers,  its  broad  and  almost  level  streets,  its 
fine  court  house,  schools  and  hotels  form  the  nucleus  around 
which  a  large  city  should  grow.  It  has  two  competing  rail- 
roads, and  a  climate  almost  ideal.  Its  citizens,  too,  are  enter- 
prising and  progressive,  good  streets  and  roads  being  appre- 
ciated highly 

Murphy's  First  Citizens.  Daniel  F.  Ramseur  kept  the 
old  "Long  Hotel,"  with  offices,  that  used  to  stand  near  the  public 
square.  Felix  Axley  was  the  father  of  the  Murphy  bar  and  of 

F.  P.  and  J.  C.  Axley.  J.  C.  Abbott  lived  at  the  old  A.  T. 
Davidson  place,  and  was  a  leading  merchant  after  the  Civil 
War.  Samuel  Henry,  deceased,  was  an  ante-bellum  resident, 
was  U.  S.  Commissioner  for  years,  and  a  friend  of  the  late 
U.  S.  District  Judge  R.  P.  Dick.  A.  M.  Dyche  (pronounced 
Dike)  was  sheriff,  justice  of  the  peace  and  a  good  citizen.     S. 

G.  R.  Mount  was  postmaster  and  lived  in  the  southern  part 
of  town.  Dr.  John  W.  Patton  was  a  leading  physician  and 
lived  near  Hiwassee  bridge.  Mercer  Fain  lived  where  the 
Regal  hotel  stands  now,  and  was  a  merchant,  farmer  and  land 
speculator.  Benjamin  S.  Brittain  lived  in  East  Murphy  from 
the  organization  of  the  county  till  his  death,  and  was  register 
of  deeds.  Drewry  Weeks  lived  on  the  northeast  corner  of  the 
Square  and  was  from  the  organization  of  the  county  till  his 
death  clerk  of  the  old  county  court.  Seth  Hyatt,  sheriff, 
lived  where  Capt.  J.  W.  Cooper  afterwards  resided.  John- 
son King  lived  where  S.  Hyatt  had  lived,  and  married  his 
widow.  He  was  a  partner  of  the  late  Col.  W.  H.  Thomas, 
and  the  father  of  Hon.  Mark  C.  King,  several  terms  in  the 
legislature.  Dr.  C  T.  Itcgers  was  another  leading  physician. 
Jesse  Brooks  was  a  merchant  and  lived  on  what  is  now  Church 
street.  G.  L.  D.  McClelland  lived  first  on  Church  and  after- 
wards on  the  east  side  of  Main  street  and  lived  to  be  over 
ninety  years  of  age,  being  highly  esteemed.  William  Berry 
was  a  merchant  and  farmer;  Xenas  Hubbard  was  a  tinner; 
James  Grant  was  a  merchant  and  kept  store  where  the  Dickey 
hotel  now  stands;  John  Rolen  was  a  lawyer;  J.J.  Turnbill  was 
a  blacksmith,  and  a  man  of  unusual  sense. 


COUNTY  HISTORY  187 


William  Beale.  This  scholarly  man  came  to  Murphy 
from  Canada  just  prior  to  the  Civil  War  and  taught  school; 
was  several  times  sheriff,  and  lived  on  the  south  side  of  Hi- 
wassee  bridge. 

David  and  John  Henesea.  Just  after  the  Civil  War  they 
moved  from  a  fine  farm  at  the  head  of  Valley  river.  John 
kept  a  hotel,  now  the  residence  of  C.  E.  Wood. 

James  W.  Cooper.  He  moved  to  Murphy  from  Graham 
soon  after  the  Civil  War,  and  was  a  most  successful  lawyer 
and  land  speculator. 

Residents  of  Cherokee  County.  Among  the  more  prom- 
inent may  be  mentioned  Abraham  Harshaw,  the  largest  slave 
owner,  four  miles  south  of  Murphy;  John  Harshaw,  his 
brother;  Abraham  Sudderth,  who  owned  the  Mission  farm  six 
miles  south  of  Murphy,  where  Rev.  Humphrey  Posey  had 
established  a  mission  school  for  the  Cherokees;  William  Strange 
owned  a  fine  farm  at  the  mouth  of  Brasstown  creek;  Gideon 
Morris,  a  Baptist  preacher,  who  married  Yonaguska's  daughter; 
Andrew  Moore;  David  Taylor;  David  Henesea;  James  W.  C. 
Piercy,  who,  from  the  organization  of  the  county  till  his  death, 
located  most  of  the  land  in  Cherokee;  James  Tatham,  the  father 
of  Purd  and  Bent,  who  lived  a  mile  west  of  Andrews;  James 
Whitaker  and  his  son  Stephen,  who  lived  near  Andrews; 
Hugh  Collett  and  his  father,  who  lived  just  above  Old  Valley 
Town  and  were  men  of  industry  and  integrity;  Buck  and 
Neil  Colvard,  who  lived  at  Tomotla;  Wm.  Welch,  who  lived 
in  the  same  neighborhood;  and  Henry  Moss,  who  lived  at 
Marble,  Ute  Hyatt  living  on  the  adjoining  farm.  Elisha  P. 
Kincaid  lived  four  miles  east  of  Murphy,  and  above  him  lived 
Betty  Welch,  or  Betty  Bly  or  Blythe,  the  heroine  of  Judge 
Strange's  romance,  "  Y^onaguska. "  John  Welch  was  her  hus- 
band, a  half-breed  Cherokee,  and  an  "Avenger  of  Blood." 
(See  ch.  26.)  In  the  western  part  of  the  county  were  Burton 
K.  and  George  Dickey,  Wm.  C.  Walker,  who  was  killed  at 
the  close  of  the  Civil  War,  having  been  colonel  of  the  29th 
N.  C.  regiment;  Abel  S.  Hill,  sheriff;  Calvin  C.  Vest;  and 
others,  who  lived  on  Notla.  In  the  northern  part  lived  Har- 
vey Davidson,  sheriff  and  farmer;  and  the  Hunsuckers,  Black- 
wells,  Longwoods,  Gentrys  and  others.  Goldman  Bryson 
lived  on  Beaver  Dam,  and  was  said  to  have  been  at  the  head 


188         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

of  a  band  of  banditti  during  the  Civil  War,  and  was  followed 
into  the  mountains  and  killed  by  a  party  of  Confederates. 
Andrew  and  Jeff  Colvard  were  founders  of  large  and  influen- 
tial families.  They  were  bold  and  daring  frontiersmen  and 
citizens  of  character  and  ability.  "Old  Rock  Voyles,"  as  he 
was  affectionately  called,  lived  on  Persimmon  creek,  ten  miles 
from  Murphy,  and  was  a  man  of  originality  and  humor.  He 
lived  to  a  great  age. 

A  Cemetery  in  the  Cliffs.  All  along  the  crest  of  the 
ridges  which  terminate  in  rock  cliffs  on  the  bank  of  the  Hi- 
wassee  river  about  one  mile  below  Murphy  are  large  deposits 
of  human  bones,  supposed  to  be  the  bones  of  Cherokees.  The 
number  of  shallow  graves  on  the  crests  of  these  ridges,  cov- 
ered over  by  cairns  of  loose  stones,  indicate  that  this  must 
have  been  the  burial  place  of  Indians  for  many  years. 

Early  Watauga  and  Boone  History.  The  first  court  in 
Watauga  was  held  in  an  old  barn  near  the  home  of  Joseph 
Hardin  one  mile  east  of  Boone,  Judge  Mitchell  presiding, 
and  E.  C.  Bartlett  being  clerk.  The  first  court  house  was 
built  in  Boone  in  1850  by  John  Horton  for  $4,000,  but  was 
burned  in  1873,  with  the  records.  The  records  were  restored 
afterwards  by  legislative  authority  upon  satisfactory  evidence 
being  furnished,  and  T.  J.  Coffey  &  Bro.  in  1874  rebuilt  the 
court  house  for  $4,800,  the  building  committee  having  been 
Henry  Taylor,  Dudley  Farthing  and  Jacob  Williams.  The 
present  fine  court  house  was  erected  in  1904  by  L.  W.  Cooper 
of  Charlotte  for  $19,000.  Alex.  Green,  J.  W.  Hodges  and 
George  Robbins  were  the  county  commissioners.  The  first 
jail  was  of  brick  and  built  by  Mr.  Dammons  for  $400,  and  the 
second  jail  was  a  wooden  building  of  heavy  logs.  On  the  sec- 
ond floor  the  timbers  were  twelve  inches  square,  crossed  with 
iron,  and  when  it  was  torn  away  by  W.  P.  Critcher  in  1909 
the  logs  were  made  into  lumber  of  the  finest  grade.  A  splen- 
did new  jail,  with  iron  cages  and  rooms,  was  built  in  1889  by 
Wm.  Stephenson  of  Mayesville,  Ky.,  for  $5,000.  The  follow- 
ing have  been  sheriffs  of  Watauga  :  Michael  Cook,  John 
Horton,  Cob  McCanles,  Sidney  Deal,  A.  J.  McBride,  John 
Horton,  A.  J.  McBride,  D.  F.  Baird,  J.  L.  Hayes,  D.  F. 
Baird,  J.  L.  Hayes,  D.  F.  Baird,  W.  M.  Calloway,  W.  B.  Baird, 
J.  H.  Hodges,  D.  C.  Reagan.  The  following  have  been  clerks: 
Mr.  McClewee,  J.  B.  Todd,  Henry  Blair,  W.  J.  Critcher,  J. 


COUNTY  HISTORY  189 

B.  Todd,  M.  B.  Blackburn,  J.  H.  Bingham,  Thomas  Bingham, 
W.  D.  Farthing. 

W.  L.  Bryan  in  1872  started  the  Bryan  hotel  and  conducted 
a  first  class  hotel  for  27  years.  In  1865  T.  J.  Coffey  &  Bro. 
came  to  Boone,  and  started  the  Coffey  hotel,  where  they  main- 
tained an  up-to-date  stopping  place  for  many  years.  It  is 
now  being  conducted  by  Mr.  Murry  Critcher. 

In  1858  Marcus  Holesclaw,  Thomas  Greene  and  William 
Horton  ran  for  the  legislature  upon  the  issue  of  moving  the 
court  house  from  Boone  to  Brushy  Fork,  and  Holesclaw  was 
elected  by  one  vote.  This  meant  that  the  court  house  must 
be  moved;  and  Holesclaw  introduced  the  bill  for  that  pur- 
pose; but  Joe  Dobson  represented  this  district  in  the  senate, 
and  although  he  was  from  Surry  county,  he  managed  to  keep 
Holesclaw's  bill  at  the  foot  of  the  calendar  until  the  legisla- 
ture adjourned.  Of  course,  Holesclaw  was  never  satisfied 
that  his  bill  never  reached  a  vote  in  the  senate. 

From  ordinary  circumstances  L.  L.  Green  came  from  the 
farm,  studied  law  and  became  a  leader  in  politics;  was  elected 
judge  and  performed  his  duties  well.  His  portrait  hangs  in  the 
court  room,  to  the  left  of  the  judge's  stand,  while  on  the  right 
is  a  portrait  of  his  friend,  Major  Bingham,  who  was  a  fine  law- 
yer and  a  great  teacher  of  law.  His  name  and  fame  went  out 
over  the  whole  State. 

E.  Spencer  Blackburn  was  one  of  the  most  attractive  men 
this  section  has  produced.  His  father  was  Edward  Blackburn, 
and  his  mother  Sinthia  Hodges.  He  was  one  of  nine  chil- 
dren. He  was  four  times  nominated  for  Congress,  was  elected 
twice;  was  assistant  district  attorney  of  the  United  States 
court,  and  died  at  Elizabethtown  early  in  1912. 

W.  B.  Councill  was  a  student  of  the  learned  Col.  G.  N. 
Folk,  who  after  being  admitted  to  the  bar  was  elevated  to  the 
position  of  judge  of  the  Superior  court  of  this  judicial  district. 
He  declined  a  renomination. 

A  Family  of  Preachers.  William  Farthing  came  as  a 
missionary  from  Wake  county  to  Beaver  Dams,  now  in  Wa- 
tauga county,  about  1826,  but  lived  only  three  months  after 
settling  there.  He  bought  what  was  then  known  as  the  Webb 
farm,  about  one-half  mile  from  the  principal  Baptist  church 
of  that  settlement.  He  had  owned  many  acres  near  Durham 
before  going  to  the  mountains.     His  sons  and  those  of  John, 


190         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

his  brother,  who  soon  followed  him  to  Watauga,  were  men 
of  the  highest  character  and  standing.  Many  of  them  have 
been  preachers,  and  four  brothers  of  his  family  were  in  the 
ministry.  Like  the  descendants  of  the  original  Casper  Cable 
who  settled  on  Dry  Run,  just  in  the  edge  of  Tennessee,  no 
drop  of  rowdy  blood  ever  developed  in  any  of  the  descendants 
of  the  pioneer  Farthings.  Dudley,  son  of  Wm.  Farthing,  was 
for  years  judge  of  the  county  court  and  chairman  of  the  board  of 
county  commissioners. 

The  Browns  of  Watauga.  Joseph  Brown  came  from 
Wilkes  to  Watauga  long  before  the  Civil  War,  and  settled  at 
Three  Forks,  where  he  married  Annie  Haigler,  and  reared 
eight  children.  Captain  Barton  Roby  Brown  of  May  Mead, 
Tenn.,  was  a  grandson,  and  married  Callie  Wagner  in  1864. 
He  was  in  the  Sixth  North  Carolina  cavalry,  and  a  gallant 
soldier. 

The  Mast  Family.  Joseph  Mast,  the  first  of  the  name  to 
come  to  Valle  Crucis,  Watauga  county,  was  born  in  Randolph 
county,  N.  C,  March  25,  1764,  and  on  the  30th  of  May, 
1783,  married  Eve  Bowers  who  had  been  born  between  the 
Saluda  and  Broad  rivers,  South  Carolina,  December  30,  1758. 
Joseph  was  a  son  of  John,  who  was  brother  of  the  Jacob  Mast 
who  became  bishop  of  the  Amish  Mennonite  church  in  Cones- 
toga,  Pa.,  in  1788.  They  had  left  their  native  Switzerland 
together,  and  sailed  from  Rotterdam  in  the  ship  "Brother- 
hood," which  reached  Philadelphia  November  3,  1750.  John 
Mast  was  born  in  1740,  and  shortly  after  becoming  20  years 
of  age  left  his  brother  Jacob,  who  had  married  and  was  living 
near  the  site  of  what  is  now  Elverson,  Pa.  John  wandered 
on  foot  through  many  lonely  forests,  but  finally  settled  in 
Randolph  county,  where  Joseph  was  born.  There  he  married 
a  lady  whose  given  name  was  Barbara.  From  Joseph  and 
Eve  Mast  have  descended  many  of  the  most  substantial  and 
worthy  citizens  of  Western  North  Carolina,  while  the  Mast 
family  generally  are  people  of  influence  and  standing  in  Penn- 
sylvania, Ohio,  Nebraska,  Iowa,  Montana,  Oregon,  Florida, 
Illinois,  Missouri,  California,  Kansas,  and  in  fact  nearly 
every  State  in  the  Union.  C.  Z.  Mast  of  Elverson,  Pa.,  in 
1911,  published  a  volume  of  nearly  a  thousand  pages  all  of 
which  are  devoted  to  an  excellent  record  of  all  the  Masts  in 
America.     John   A.    Mast   was   born   on   Brushy   creek  Sep- 


COUNTY  HISTORY  191 

tember  22,  1829.  He  married  Martha  Moore  of  Johns  river, 
December  5,  1850.  He  died  February  6,  1892.  His  pater- 
nal grandfather,  John  Mast,  and  maternal  grandfather,  Cut- 
liff  Harman,  were  among  the  pioneers  of  this  section,  and 
were  Germans,  settling  on  Cove  creek.  His  wife,  Martha 
Mast,  was  bom  April  13,  1833.     She  died  February  15,  1905. 

The  Moretz  Family.  John  Moretz  came  from  Lincoln- 
ton  long  before  the  Civil  War  and  settled  on  Meat  Camp, 
seven  miles  from  Boone,  where  he  built  and  operated  a  large 
mill,  which  was  burned  but  rebuilt.  He  prospered  greatly, 
and  his  descendants  are  numerous  and  influential. 

The  Shull  Family.  Philip  P.  Shull  was  born  at  Valle 
Crucis,  February  15,  1797,  and  married  Phcebe  Ward  of 
Tennessee.  He  died  January  9,  1866.  His  father,  Simon 
Shull  was  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  this  country,  having  been 
a  German,  and  settled  near  Valle  Crucis.  His  wife,  Phcebe- 
was  born  May  28,  1801,  and  died  September  29,  1882.  Jo- 
seph Shull,  who  was  desperately  wounded  in  May,  1863,  at  the 
Wilderness  fight,  is  a  son  of  Philip  P.  Shull. 

The  Councill  Family.  Jordan  Councill,  Sr.,  was  the  first 
of  the  name  to  settle  in  Watauga,  then  Ashe  county.  He  mar- 
ried Sally,  the  daughter  of  Benjamin  Howard,  and  from  them 
have  descended  a  long  line  of  virile  men  and  lovely  women, 
who  for  years  have  been  the  backbone  of  this  section. 

Other  First  Settlers  were  Amos  and  Edward  Greene 
near  Blowing  Rock;  Ransom  Hayes  at  Boone;  Jackson,  Steven 
and  Abner  Farthing  at  Beaver  Dams,  James  McCanless, 
Elisha  Coffey,  Amos  Greene,  Isaac  Greene,  Lee  Foster  and 
Joel  Moody,  at  and  near  Shull's  Mills;  Maiden  Harmon,  Cal- 
vin Harmon,  Seaton  Mast,  Lorenzo  Whittington,  and  George 
Moody,  on  Cove  creek.  Henry  Taylor  came  to  Valle  Crucis 
long  before  the  Civil  War  and  married  a  Miss  Mast. 

Forgot  How  to  Make  an  "S."  In  the  graveyard  of  the 
old  German  Reformed  church,  one  mile  from  Blowing  Rock, 
is  an  old  gravestone  which,  tradition  says,  was  brought  by  a 
Mr.  Sullivan  from  the  Jersey  settlement  in  Davidson  county 
for  the  purpose,  as  he  stated,  of  "starting  a  graveyard."  On 
it  are  carved  or  scratched  the  following  letters  and  numbers: 

E     E     g     1794. 
This  stone  is  said  to   mark   the  grave   of  the   pioneer  who 
brought  it  to  Blowing  Rock.     But  whether  he  died  or  was  born 


192         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

in  the  year  given,  is  not  known.     It  is  quite  evident  that  he 
had  forgotten  in  which  way  an  "S"  is  turned. 

Jackson  County.  While  the  late  Michael  Francis  was  in 
the  senate  and  R.  G.  A.  Love  was  in  the  house  from  Haywood 
in  1850-52,  Jackson  county  was  formed  with  Webster  as  the 
county  seat.  Daniel  Webster  had  just  died,  and  the  naming 
of  this  town  for  him  was  a  graceful  concession  to  the  Whig 
element  of  the  country,  while  giving  to  "Old  Hickory"  the 
honor  of  naming  the  county  for  him  pleased  the  Democrats. 
Col.  Thaddeus  D.  Bryson,  a  son  of  Daniel  Bryson  of  Scott's 
creek,  was  the  first  representative  in  the  house  from  Jackson, 
while  Col.  W.  H.  Thomas  represented  it  in  the  senate.  John 
R.  Dills,  a  member  of  the  large  and  influential  Dills  family  of 
Dillsborough,  represented  this  county  in  1856.  Joseph  Keener, 
an  influential  and  valuable  citizen  represented  the  county  in 
1862,  followed  by  W.  A.  Enloe,  a  representative  of  the  ex- 
tensive and  leading  Enloe  family  of  Jackson.  Following  are 
the  names  of  some  of  the  more  prominent  legislators  :  J.  N. 
Bryson,  E.  D.  Davis,  G.  W.  Spake,  F.  H.  Leatherwood,  J.  W. 
Terrell,  J.  M.  Candler,  R.  H.  Brown,  W.  A.  Dills,  C.  C. 
Cowan,  and  John  B.  Ensley.  The  late  John  B.  Love  lived 
near  Webster,  and  kept  a  store,  W.  H.  Thomas  being  a  part- 
ner for  a  while.  Mr.  Love  owned  much  of  the  land  in  that 
section,  and  his  sons  settled  on  Scott's  creek  from  Addie  to 
Sylva.  He  also  owned  the  famous  "Gold  Spring,"  near  the 
head  of  Tuckaseegee,  in  the  basin  of  which  a  small  amount 
of  gold  was  deposited  each  morning;  but  a  blast  ruined  even 
that  small  contribution.  He  married  a  Miss  Comans  of  Wake 
county.  Philip  Dills  was  another  pioneer,  and  was  born  in 
Rutherford,  January  10,  1808,  and  came  with  his  father  to 
Haywood  soon  after  his  birth,  and  about  the  time  Abraham 
Enloe  settled  on  Soco  creek.  .  .  .  He  was  a  useful  and 
respected  citizen.  Abraham  Battle  was  born  in  Haywood  in 
1809,  and  his  father  was  one  of  the  three  men  who  came  from 
Rutherford  to  Haywood  with  Abraham  Enloe.  Wm.  H.  Con- 
ley  was  another  important  citizen  of  Jackson  before  Swain  was 
taken  from  it,  and  was  born  in  1812  within  fifteen  miles  of 
Abraham  Enloe's  Ocona  Lufty  place,  his  father,  James  Con- 
ley  having  been  the  first  white  man  to  settle  on  that  stream. 
James  W.  Terrell  was  born  in  Rutherford  county,  December 
31,  1829,  and  at  sixteen  years  of  age,  came  to  Haywood  and 


COUNTY  HISTORY  193 


lived  with  his  grandfather,  Wm.  D.  Kilpatrick,  till  1852,  when 
he  went  into  business  with  the  late  Col.  Wm.  H.  Thomas. 
In  1854  he  was  made  disbursing  agent  for  the  Cherokees, 
was  a  captain  in  the  Civil  War,  and  in  the  legislature  for  sev- 
eral terms.  The  late  Daniel  Bryson  kept  a  hotel  or  stopping 
place  on  the  turnpike  road  below  Hall's  and  above  Addie,  in 
the  turn  of  the  road,  where  all  the  judges  and  lawyers  stopped 
while  attending  the  courts  of  the  wetsern  circuit.  He  was  a 
most  excellent  and  useful  citizen,  and  left  several  sons  who 
have  been  prominent  and  influential  citizens.  Rev.  William 
Hicks  lived  in  Webster  after  the  Civil  War,  where  he  taught 
school  for  two  years;  but  in  1868  he  was  appointed  presiding 
elder  and  moved  to  Hendersonville  where  he  remained  till 
1873,  when  he  returned  to  Webster  and  resumed  his  school. 
Later  he  moved  to  Quallatown  where  he  taught  school  till 
he  was  appointed  to  a  district  in  West  Virginia,  where  he 
afterwards  died.  He  was  a  fine  public  speaker,  a  Confeder- 
ate soldier,  a  member  of  the  Secession  convention  from  Hay- 
wood in  1861,  and  with  Rev.  J.  R.  Long,  in  1855,  built  up  a 
large  school  near  the  junction  of  Richland  and  Raccoon  creeks, 
giving  the  place  the  name  of  Tuscola.  This  school  flourished 
till  the  beginning  of  the  Civil  War.  Mr.  Hicks  also  edited 
The  Herald  of  Truth,  a  newspaper  in  Asheville,  for  a  few  years. 
He  was  born  in  Sullivan  county,  Tennessee,  in  1820,  became 
a  Methodist  preacher  and  came  to  Buncombe  in  1848,  hold- 
ing that  year  the  first  conference  ever  held  in  Haywood,  the 
meeting  being  held  at  Bethel  church. 

Webster  and  the  Railroad.  With  the  coming  of  the 
railroad,  Webster,  the  county  seat,  found  itself  about  three 
miles  from  that  artery  of  trade  and  travel;  and,  soon  after- 
ward, an  agitation  began  for  the  removal  of  the  court  house 
to  Dillsboro  or  Sylva,  and  has  continued  ever  since.  The 
question  was  submitted  to  the  people  but  they  voted  to  retain 
Webster  as  the  county  site;  a  new  court  house  was  built,  and 
it  was  supposed  that  the  matter  had  been  settled  forever;  but 
in  1913  a  more  vigorous  movement  was  started  to  change  the 
county  court  house  to  Sylva,  which  offered  a  bonus  in  case  it 
should  be  done.  The  legislature  of  1913  authorized  the  people 
to  vote  on  the  proposition,  and  the  result  changed  the  county 
site  to  a  point  between  Dillsboro  and  Sylva,  May  8,  1913. 
Webster  is  a  pretty  little  town  with  many  attractive  and 

W.  N.  C. 13 


194         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

useful  citizens.  The  improvements  along  the  line  of  railroad 
from  Hall's  to  Whittier  have  been  remarkable.  The  talc  mine 
and  factory  of  C.  J.  Harris  at  Dillsboro,  the  nickel  mine  nearer 
Webster  of  W.  J.  Adams,  and  the  tannic  acid  plant  at  Sylva 
contribute  much  to  the  prosperity  of  these  towns  and  to  that 
of  the  county  generally.  With  a  railroad  up  Tuckaseegee  a 
large  tract  of  timber  will  find  an  outlet,  and  the  copper  mine 
on  that  stream  may  come  into  development.  Jackson  is  a 
rich  and  productive  county  and  its  people  are  thriving  and 
energetic.  Lake  Fairfield  and  Inn,  and  Lake  Sapphire  are 
in  this  county  on  Horsepasture  creek.  Ellicotte  mountain  is 
near  the  extreme  eastern  end  of  the  county.  Cashiers  Val- 
ley, Chimney  top,  Whiteside  Cove  and  mountain,  Glenville, 
East  LaPorte,  Cullowhee  and  Painter  are  places  of  interest 
and  importance. 

Scott's  Creek.  As  this  creek  was  on  the  eastern  border 
of  the  Cherokee  country  from  which  the  Indians  were  removed, 
and  as  Gen.  Winfield  Scott  was  in  charge  of  their  removal  in 
1835-38,  some  suppose  that  the  creek  took  its  name  from  him; 
but  in  two  grants  to  Charles  McDowell,  James  Glascow  and 
David  Miller,  dated  December  3,  1795,  (Buncombe  Deed  Book 
No.  4,  p.  104)  the  State  conveyed  300  acres  on  the  waters  of 
Scott's  creek,  waters  of  Tuckaseegee  river,  including  the  forks 
of  Scotts  creek  and  "what  was  said  to  be  Scott's  old  lick 
blocks,"  and  on  the  same  date  there  was  a  further  grant  to 
the  same  parties  to  300  acres  on  the  same  stream,  including  a 
cane  brake,  with  the  same  reference  to  Scott's  old  lick  blocks. 
(Book  8,  p.  85.)  But  a  careful  search  revealed  no  grant  to 
any  Scott  in  that  section  at  or  near  that  time;  and  the  Scott 
who  gave  his  name  to  this  fine  stream  was  doubtless  but  a 
landless  squatter  who  was  grazing  and  salting  his  cattle  on 
the  wild  lands  of  that  day.  He  probably  lived  in  Haywood 
county,  near  the  head  of  Richland  creek. 

Madison  County.  It  was  formed  in  1851  from  Buncombe 
and  Yancey;  it  was  named  for  James  Madison,  while  its  county 
seat  bears  the  name  of  the  great  chief  justice,  John  Marshall. 

Jewel  Hill  or  Lapland?  It  is  almost  forgotten  that  the 
postofnce  at  what  is  now  Marshall  was  called  Lapland  in 
1858,  and  that  it  used  to  be  said  that  pegged  shoes  were  first 
made  there  because  the  hills  so  enclose  the  place  that  it  would 
be  impossible  for  a  shoemaker  to  draw  out  his  thread  to  the 


COUNTY  HISTORY  195 

full  width  of  his  arms,  and  consequently  had  to  hammer  in 
pegs,  which  he  could  do  by  striking  up  and  down.  It  is  also 
uncertain  whether  the  name  of  Madison's  first  county  seat 
is  Jewel  Hill  or  Duel  Hill.  One  thing,  however,  is  certain, 
and  it  is  that  there  once  was  a  spirited  contest  over  keeping 
the  seat  of  government  there.  There  were  several  "settle- 
ments" which  desired  to  become  the  county  seat  of  Madison 
county,  Lapland,  on  the  French  Broad  river,  being  barred  by 
the  act  of  the  legislature  (1850-1),  which  provides  that  the 
"county  seat  is  to  be  called  Marshall  which  is  not  to  be 
within  two  miles  of  the  French  Broad  river.  The  principal 
candidates  for  this  honor  were  "Bryants,"  Barnards  and 
Jewel  Hill.  The  last  named  was  selected  at  first  and  several 
terms  of  court  were  held  there. 

The  location  of  the  county  site  at  Jewel  Hill  soon  proved 
unsatisfactory,  and  the  legislature  of  1852-53  appointed  a  com- 
mission to  fix  the  plan  for  a  county  government.  They  de- 
cided on  what  is  now  Marshall  "on  lands  of  T.  B.  Vance  where 
Aclolphus  E.  Baird  now  lives."  But  a  doubt  as  to  the  legality 
of  this  selection  was  immediately  raised,  though  the  county 
offices  remained  at  Jewel  Hill.  But  David  Vance,  in  order 
to  comply  with  the  terms  of  the  act,  deeded  to  Madison 
county  fifty  acres  of  land  for  a  town  site,  by  deed  dated  April 
20,  1853. 33 

The  location  of  the  county  site  entered  into  the  politics  of 
that  year,  and  the  legislature  of  1854-55  (ch.  97,  Pr.  Laws) 
passed  an  act  which  provided  for  an  election  to  be  held  the 
first  Thursday  in  June,  1855,  to  determine  whether  the  new 
location  should  stand  or  another  location  be  chosen.  In 
case  a  new  location  should  be  decided  on,  a  commission  of  nine 
citizens  was  named,  any  five  of  whom  might  determine  the 
new  location;  or  if  five  did  not  agree,  then  they  were  to  name 
two  places,  one  of  which  should  be  on  the  French  Broad  river, 
one  of  which  was  to  be  chosen  by  a  majority  of  the  voters  at 
an  election  to  be  held  at  a  time  to  be  fixed  by  the  county  court. 

The  act  further  provided  that  "if  the  Supreme  court  now 
sitting  [February,  1855]  should  decide  that  the  location  of  the 
county  seat  at  Adolphus  Baird's"  was  lawful,  then  this  act 
should  be  null  and  inoperative.  Pursuant  to  this  act  the 
question  as  to  whether  the  location  of  the  county  site  at  Adol- 
phus E.  Baird's  should  stand  or  a  new  location  be  chosen  was 


196         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

decided  at  a  popular  election  held  on  the  first  Thursday  in 
June,  1855,  pursuant  to  the  act  of  1852-53,  and  an  order  of  the 
county  court  made  at  its  April  term,  1855. 3  4  The  votes 
for  and  against  the  present  location,  however,  is  not  stated 
in  the  minutes;  but  there  is  a  tradition  that  Marshall  won 
by  only  one  vote.  At  the  fall  term,  1855,  of  this  court,  a 
building  committee  was  appointed  and  the  building  of  a  brick 
court  house  decided  upon,  which  was  ordered  to  be  built  in 
1856.  The  records  show,  however,  that  the  county  court 
was  still  held  at  Jewel  Hill  up  to  the  fall  of  1859.  There 
appears  to  be  no  record  of  any  litigation  to  test  the  legality  of 
the  selection  of  the  commissioners  under  the  Act  of  1852-53, 
notwithstanding  the  allusion  to  such  a  suit  in  the  act  itself. 

Old  Residents  of  Madison.  Dr.  W.  A.  Askew  was  born 
on  Spring  creek  in  August,  1832,  his  father  having  been  G.  C. 
Askew,  and  his  mother  Sarah  H.  Lusk,  daughter  of  Wm.  Lusk, 
and  a  sister  of  Col.  Virgil  S.  Lusk  of  Asheville.  There  were 
only  four  men  living  on  Spring  creek  when  G.  C.  Lusk  settled 
there  in  1820,  and  they  were  Wm.  and  Sam  Lusk,  a  Mr.  Craw- 
ford and  Wm.  Garrett.  Later  on  Wm.  Moody  and  Josiah 
Duckett  of  South  Carolina,  a  soldier  of  the  Revolution,  came. 
Wm.  Woody  also  lived  there,  and  his  son  Jonathan  H.  Woody 
moved  to  Cataloochee  and  married,  first  Malinda  Plemmons, 
and  afterwards  Mrs.  Mary  Caldwell,  a  widow.  The  Gaha- 
gans  and  Tweeds  lived  on  Laurel,  while  on  Turkey  creek  Jacob 
Martin,  James  Alexander,  A.  M.  Gudger,  R.  L.  Gudger,  Wm. 
Penland,  Robert  Hawkins,  Irwin  West  and  John  Alexander 
lived  and  prospered.  Col  James  M.  Lowrie,  a  half-brother 
of  Gov.  Swain,  with  John  Wells,  John  Reeves,  lived  on  Sandy 
Mush.  Ebbitt  Jones  also  lived  on  Sandy  Mush;  and  on  Lit- 
tle Sandy  Mush  G.  D.  Robertson,  Jackson  Reeves,  Jacob 
and  John  Glance  and  others  lived.  Nathaniel  Davis,  Nathan 
Worley  and  the  Worleys  lived  on  Pine  creek.  James  Nichols 
married  a  Barnard  and  lived  at  Marshall.  Robert  Farnsworth 
lived  and  died  at  Jewel  Hill,  where  Mrs.  Clark  now  lives, 
and  was  a  son  of  David  Farnsworth  who  kept  a  stock  stand 
on  the  French  Broad.  James  Gudger  and  his  wife  Annie  Love 
also  lived  in  this  county,  and  Col.  Gudger  was  a  delegate  to 
the  State  convention  of  1835. 

Alleghany  County.  3  5  "Alleghany"  is,  in  the  language  of  the 
Delaware  Indians,  "a  fine  stream."     Up  to  1858-59  Alleghany 


COUNTY  HISTORY  197 

was  a  part  of  Ashe.  Wm.  Raleigh  and  Elijah  Thompson  of 
Surry,  James  B.  Gordon  of  Wilkes,  and  Stephen  Thomas  and 
John  F.  Green  of  Ashe  were  appointed  commissioners  by  the 
act  creating  the  county  to  locate  the  county  seat,  and  had 
power  to  purchase  or  receive  as  a  gift  100  acres  for  the  use  of 
such  county,  upon  which  the  county  site,  to  be  called  Sparta, 
should  be  located.  In  April,  1859  Wm.  C.  DeJournett,  a 
Frenchman,  of  Wilkes,  made  a  survey  and  plat  locating  the 
center  of  the  county;  James  H.  Parks  and  David  Evans  donated 
50  acres  where  Sparta  now  stands,  near  the  geographical 
center  located  by  DeJournett,  but  the  deed  was  destroyed 
by  a  fire  which  burned  Col.  Allen  Gentry's  house,  and  another 
deed  was  executed  in  1866.  In  1859  the  county  court  ap- 
pointed commissioners  to  lay  off  and  make  sales  of  town  lots, 
but  at  the  next  term  revoked  their  appointment  and  directed 
them  not  to  proceed.  A  mandamus  was  asked  and  the  Supe- 
rior and  Supreme  courts  both  ordered  that  it  be  granted;  but 
nothing  further  seems  to  have  been  done  till  the  April  term, 
1866,  when  the  county  court  appointed  F.  J.  McMillan,  Rob- 
ert Gambill,  Sr.,  James  H.  Parks,  Morgan  Edwards  and  S. 
S.  Stamper  commissioners  to  lay  off  and  sell  lots  from  the 
tract  donated  for  a  county  seat,  etc.;  and  at  the  October 
term  following  these  commissioners  were  directed  to  adver- 
tise for  bids  for  building  a  court  house,  etc.  But,  at  the  Jan- 
uary term,  1867,  all  bids  were  rejected  and  the  plans  altered 
so  that  the  court  house  and  jail  should  be  in  one  and  the  same 
building.  This  was  the  first  term  held  in  Sparta,  and  the 
court  was  composed  of  Morgan  Bryan  and  Wm.  L.  Mitchell. 
The  first  term  of  the  Superior  court  was  held  at  Sparta  in  the 
spring  of  1868,  with  Anderson  Mitchell  as  presiding  judge, 
J.  C.  Jones,  sheriff,  and  W.  L.  Mitchell  as  foreman  of  the 
grand  jury.  Stephen  Landreth  was  officer  in  charge  of  the 
grand  jury. 

Before  the  Revolution.  It  seems  that  there  were  no 
settlers  in  Alleghany  prior  to  the  Revolutionary  War;  but 
it  had  been  visited  by  hunters  both  from  Virginia  and  the  cen- 
tral part  of  this  State,  among  whom  were  three  brothers 
named  Maynard  from  what  is  now  Surry,  who  crossed  the  Blue 
Ridge  and  built  cabins  along  Glade  creek.  This  was  about 
1786,  and  they  had  lived  there  about  six  years  when  Francis 
Bryan,  from  Orange  county,  in  1793,  located  within  five  miles 


198         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

of  them.  About  the  same  time  Joel  Simmons,  Wm.  Wood- 
ruff and  Crouce  settled  along  the  top  of  the  Blue 

Ridge,  thus  making  seven  families  in  the  county.  But  this 
was  too  much  for  the  Maynard  brothers,  and  claiming  that 
the  country  was  too  thickly  settled,  they  moved  to  Kentucky. 
But  who  was  the  first  white  man  to  visit  this  section  is  un- 
known; though  Wm.  Taylor,  the  Coxes,  Gambills  and  Reeves 
probably  lived  in  the  borders  of  what  is  now  Alleghany  during 
the  Revolutionary  War.  Two  men  named  Edwards  settled 
here  also  at  an  early  date,  viz:  David  and  William  Edwards. 
John  •McMillan  came  from  Scotland  in  1790  and  was  the  first 
clerk  of  Ashe  court.  Joseph  Doughton  from  Franklin  county, 
Va.,  was  an  early  settler,  and  represented  Ashe  in  the  House 
of  Commons  in  1877.  Joseph  Doughton  was  the  youngest 
son  of  Joseph.  This  family  has  always  been  prominent  in 
the  county.  H.  F.  Jones  built  the  present  court  house  for 
$3,475,  and  it  was  received  September  4,  1880,  J.  T.  Hawthorn 
and  Alex.  Hampton,  building  committee. 

Principal  Office-Holders.  The  following  are  the  names 
of  those  who  have  held  the  principal  offices  in  the  county. 

Senators:  1879,  Jesse  Bledsoe;  1880,  F.  J.  McMillan;  1893, 
W.  C.  Fields;  1899,  W.  C.  Fields;  1906,  Stephen  A.  Taylor; 
1909,  R.  L.  Doughton;  1911,  John  M.  Wagoner. 

Representatives:  1869,  Dr.  J.  L.  Smith;  1871,  Robert  Gam- 
bill;  1873,  Abram  Bryan;  1875,  W.  C.  Fields;  1877,  E.  L. 
Vaughan;  1879  and  1881,  E.  L.  Vaughan;  1883,  Isaac  W. 
Landreth;  1885,  Berry  Edwards;  1887,  R.  A.  Doughton;  1891, 
R.  A.  Doughton;  1893,  C.  J.  Taylor;  1895,  P.  C.  Higgins; 
1897,  H.  F.  Jones,  1899;  J.  M.  Gambill;  1901,  J.  C.  Fields; 
1903,  R.  A.  Doughton;  1905,  R,  K.  Finney;  1907,  1909,  1911, 
1913,  R.  A.  Doughton. 

Clerk  of  County  Court:  1859  to  1862,  Allen  Gentry;  1862 
to  1866,  Horton  Reeves;  1866  to  1868,  C.  G.  Fowlkes. 

Clerk  Superior  Court:  1864  to  1868,  Wm.  A.  J.  Fowlkes; 
1868  to  October,  1873,  B.  H.  Edwards.  Edwards  resigned 
and  J.  J.  Gambill  appointed.  October  1873  to  March  1882, 
J.  J.  Gambill;  Gambill  resigned  and  R.  S.  Carson  appointed. 
March  1882  to  1890,  R.  S.  Carson;  1890  to  1898,  W.  E.  Cox; 
1898  to  1910,  J.  N.  Edwards;  1910  to  1914,  S.  F.  Thompson. 

Sheriff:  1859  to  1864,  Jesse  Bledsoe;  1864  to  1870,  J.  C. 
Jones;  1870  to  1882,  J.  R.  Wyatt;  1882  to  1884,  Berry  Edwards; 


COUNTY  HISTORY  199 

1884  to  1885,  George  Bledsoe  (died  while  in  office);  1885  to 
1888,  W.  F.  Thompson;  1888  to  1894,  W.  S.  Gambill;  1894  to 
1898,  L.  J.  Jones;  1898  to  1904,  D.  R.  Edwards;  1904  to  1908, 
S.  A.  Choate;  1908  to  1910,  John  R.  Edwards;  1910  to  1914, 
S.  C.  Richardson. 

Register  of  Deeds:  1865  to  1868,  Thompson  Edwards;  1868 
to  1880,  F.  M.  Mitchell;  1880  to  1882,  F.  G.  McMillan;  1882 
to  1886,  F.  M.  Mitchell;  1886  to  1892,  J.  C.  Roup;  1892  to 
1898,  J.  N.  Edwards;  1898  to  1904,  S.  F.  Thompson;  1904  to 
1908,  John  F.  Cox;  1908  to  1914,  G.  D.  Brown. 

The  following  is  a  list  of  the  first  Justices  of  the  Peace  of 
the  county: 

A.  B.  McMillan,  John  Gambill,  Berry  Edwards,  John  A. 
Jones,  Solomon  Jones,  W.  P.  Maxwell,  Solomon  Long,  Nathan 
Weaver,  Wm.  Warden,  C.  G.  Fowlkes,  F.  J.  McMillan,  John 
Parsons,  Caleb  Osborn,  Wm.  L.  Mitchell,  C.  H.  Doughton, 
James  Boyer,  Wm.  Anders,  Thomas  Edwards,  Thomas  Doug- 
lass, I.  C.  Heggins,  Hiram  Heggins,  Morgan  Bryan,  A.  M. 
Bryan,  A.  J.  Woodruff,  Alfred  Brooks,  Wm.  T.  Choate,  Dan- 
iel Whitehead,  Goldman  Heggins,  Absalom  Smith,  Martin 
Carico,  Ruben  Sparks,  Spencer  Isom,  Chesley  Cheek. 

Of  this  number,  Dr.  C.  G.  Fowlkes  and  Nathan  Weaver 
are  the  only  ones  now  living,  1912. 

First  Marriage  Certificate.  This  is  a  copy  of  the  first 
marriage  record  in  the  county: 

"This  is  to  certify  that  I  married  Calvin  Caudill  and 
Sarah  Jones  the   16th   day  of  March,  1862. 

Daniel  Caudill." 

Two  Noted  Lawsuits.  What  is  probably  the  most  im- 
portant lawsuit  that  ever  existed  in  the  county  was  W.  D. 
Maxwell  v.  Noah  Long,  for  the  recovery  of  the  "Peach  Bottom 
Copper  Mines"  and  for  about  1000  acres  of  land.  This  cause 
was  carried  to  the  United  States  Circuit  Court  of  Appeals  and 
then  to  the  United  States  Supreme  Court.  Polk,  Fields, 
Doughton,  Watson  &  Buxton  represented  Maxwell.  Vaughan, 
Linney,  and  Judge  Schenk  represented  Long.  Maxwell  finally 
gained  the  suit,  Chief  Justice  Fuller  writing  the  opinion. 

Another  historical  lawsuit  in  this  county,  was  one  of  eject- 
ment, Wm.  Edwards  v.  Morgan  Edwards.  This  litigation  was 
begun  about  the  year  1864,  and  lasted  nearly  thirteen  years. 
The  action  was  moved  to  Ashe  county  at  one  time,  and  prob- 


200         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

ably  to  Watauga  at  another.  It  was  finally  disposed  of  at 
Spring  term  1877  of  Alleghany  Superior  Court.  After  a  des- 
perate battle,  which  lasted  for  nearly  a  week,  the  jury  gave 
a  verdict  in  favor  of  Morgan  Edwards. 3  6 

Mitchell's  County  Seat.  By  ch.  8,  Pub.  Laws  of  1860-61 
Mitchell  county  was  created  out  of  portions  of  Yancey, 
Watauga,  Caldwell,  Burke  and  McDowell;  and  by  chapter  9 
of  the  same  laws  it  was  provided  that  the  county  court  of 
Pleas  and  Quarter  Sessions  should  be  "held  in  the  house  of 
Eben  Childs  on  the  tenth  Monday  after  the  fourth  Monday 
in  March,  when  they  shall  elect  a  clerk,  a  sheriff,  a  coroner, 
a  register  of  deeds  and  entry-taker,  a  surveyor,  a  county 
solicitor,  constables  and  all  other  officers.  Thomas  Farthing 
of  Watauga,  John  W.  McElroy  of  Y^ancey,  Joseph  Conley  of 
McDowell,  A.  C.  Avery  of  Burke,  David  Prophet  of  Yancey, 
John  Harden  of  Watauga  and  James  Bailey,  Sr.,  of  Yancey, 
were  appointed  commissioners  to  select  a  permanent  seat  of 
justice  and  secure  fifty  acres  of  land,  to  meet  between  the 
first  of  May  and  June,  1861.  Tilmon  Blalock,  J.  A.  Person, 
Eben  Childs  and  Jordan  Harden  were  appointed  commis- 
sioners to  lay  off  town  lots;  "and  said  town  shall  be  called 
by  the  name  of  Calhoun." 

A  Hitch  Somewhere.  But,  at  the  first  extra  session  of 
1861  (Ratified  September  4,  1861),  Moses  Young,  John  B. 
Palmer  of  Mitchell,  John  S.  Brown  of  McDowell,  Wm.  C. 
Erwin  of  Burke,  and  N.  W.  Woodfin  of  Buncombe  were 
appointed  commissioners  to  "select  and  determine  a  perma- 
nent seat  of  justice,"  to  meet  between  October  1,  1861,  and 
July  1,  1862. 

Still  Another  Hitch.  By  chapter  34,  Private  Laws,  second 
extra  session,  1861,  the  boundary  lines  of  Mitchell  were  so 
changed  as  to  detach  from  Mitchell  and  re-annex  to  Yancey 
all  the  country  between  the  mouth  of  Big  Rock  creek  and  the 
Tennessee  line,  so  that  the  county  line  of  Mitchell  should 
stop  on  Toe  river  at  the  mouth  of  Big  Rock  creek  and  run 
thence  with  the  ridge  that  divides  Rock  Creek  and  Brum- 
metts  creek  to  the  State  line  at  the  point  where  the  Yancey 
and  McDowell  turnpike  road  crosses  the  same. 

The  Land  is  Donated.  On  the  17th  of  October,  1861, 
Lysander  D.  Childs  and  Eben  Childs  conveyed  to  Tilmon 
Blalock,  chairman  of  the  County  Court,  fifty  acres  of  land 


COUNTY  HISTORY  201 

(Deed  Book  C,  p.  30)  the  which  fifty  acres  were  to  be  used 
"for  the  location  thereon  of  a  permanent  seat  of  justice  in 
said  county;  two  acres  for  a  public  grave-yard,  one  acre  for 
the  site  of  a  public  school  building,  and  one-half  acre  to  be 
devoted  to  each  of  the  following  denominations  for  the  erec- 
tion thereon  of  church  buildings;  to  wit:  Episcopalians,  Pres- 
byterians, Methodists  and  Baptists";  the  location  of  lots  in 
the  grave-yard  and  for  the  school  and  church  buildings  to  be 
made  by  the  commissioners  charged  by  law  with  the  duty 
of  laying  off  the  town  lots  in  said  seat  of  justice. 

Calhoun.  This  town  was  not  far  from  Spruce  Pine  and 
Ingalls,  "on  a  lane  leading  from  the  Burnsville  and  Boone 
road. "  3  7  It  was  what  was  afterwards  called  Childsville.  But, 
although  by  chapter  61  of  the  second  session  of  the  laws  of  1861, 
a  term  of  the  Superior  court  was  directed  to  be  held  "for 
Mitchell  county  in  the  town  of  Calhoun  on  the  sixth  Monday 
after  the  fourth  Monday  each  year,"  the  county  seat  never 
assumed  town-like  proportions.  The  people  never  liked  it; 
and  at  the  first  session  of  the  legislature  after  the  Civil  War  it 
was  changed  to  the  present  site  of  what  is  now  called  Bakers- 
ville.  But,  it  seems,  it  was  first  called  Davis;  for  by  chapter 
2,  Private  Laws  of  1868,  the  name  of  the  "town  site  of 
Mitchell  county"  was  changed  from  Davis  to  Bakersville. 

Bakersville.  On  the  27th  of  July,  1866,  for  $1,000  Rob- 
bert  N.  Penland  conveyed  to  the  chairman  of  the  board  of 
county  commissioners  29  acres  on  the  waters  of  Cane  creek 
"and  the  right  of  way  to  and  the  use  of  the  springs  above  the 
old  Baker  spring  .  .  .  to  be  carried  in  pumps  to  any 
portion  of  said  29  acres. 3  8  This  was  a  part  of  the  land  on 
which  Bakersville  is  situated.  In  1868  there  was  a  sale  of 
these  lots,  and  at  the  December,  1868,  session  of  the  commis- 
sioners the  purchasers  gave  their  notes,  due  in  one  and  two 
years  for  balances  due  on  the  lots.  The  first  court  house  in 
Bakersville  was  built  by  Irby  &  Dellinger,  of  South  Carolina, 
in  1867,  and  on  the  first  of  November,  1869,  M.  P.  and  W. 
Dellinger  gave  notice  of  a  mechanic's  lien  in  the  building  for 
work  done  under  a  contract  for  the  sum  of  $1,409.85  subject 
to  a  set-off  of  about  $200.  The  first  court  held  in  Bakersville 
was  in  a  grove  near  the  former  Bowman  house,  when  it  stood 
on  the  top  of  the  ridge  above  its  present  site.  Judge  A.  S. 
Merrimon  presided.     The  next  court  was  held  in  a  log  house 


202        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

built  by  Isaac  A.  Pearson.  The  present  court  house  was  built 
by  the  Fall  City  Construction  Company,  of  Louisville,  Ky. 
Transylvania.39  This  county  was  formed  in  1861,  while 
Marcus  Erwin  was  in  the  senate  and  Joseph  P.  Jordan  of 
Henderson  county  was  in  the  house.  M.  N.  Patton  was  its 
first  representative,  in  1864.  Court  was  held  in  a  store  room 
on  what  is  now  Caldwell  street,  Brevard.  The  first  regular 
court  house  was  a  small  frame  building  which  stood  on  site 
of  present  building.  It  was  built  by  George  Clayton  and 
Eph.  England,  contractors,  and  was  not  quite  complete  in 
1866.  The  first  jail  was  also  small  and  of  wood.  Both  these 
buildings  were  moved  across  the  street  and  are  still  in  exist- 
ence. The  present  court  house  was  built  about  1874  by 
Thomas  Davis  contractor.  Probit  Poore  built  what  is  still 
known  as  the  "Red  House,"  before  the  Civil  War;  but  it  was 
not  used  as  a  hotel  till  William  Moore  opened  it  as  such,  and 
this  was  the  first  hotel  in  Brevard.  In  1872  or  1873  Nathan 
McMinn  built  a  store  and  afterwards  a  hotel  where  the  present 
McMinn  house  stands  and  opened  a  hotel  there  about  1879. 
George  Shuford,  the  father  of  Judge  G.  A.  Shuford,  used  to 
own  the  Breese  or  Hume  place  in  Brevard,  and  sold  it  to 
Meredith  D.  Cooper  who  built  the  present  mansion,  and  sold 
it  to  Mrs.  Hume.  George  Shuford  bought  the  mill  place 
from  Ethan  Davis  and  built  a  grist  mill  there,  but  when  M.  D. 
Cooper  got  it  he  built  a  flour  mill,  which  was  burned.  Cooper 
afterwards  sold  the  mill  to  Mr.  Lucas  and  he  sold  it  to  Mrs. 
Robert  L.  Hume,  who  conveyed  it  to  her  daughter,  Mrs. 
Wm.  E.  Breese,  the  mill  having  been  rebuilt.  About  1800 
George  Shuford  moved  from  Catawba  county  and  bought 
land  below  Shuford's  bridge  on  the  French  Broad  river,  and 
took  up  a  lot  of  mountain  land,  considered  valueless,  but 
which  is  held  today  by  John  Thrash  at  $25  per  acre.  It 
is  in  the  Little  river  mountains.  John  Claj^ton,  father  of 
John,  George  and  Ephriam  Clayton,  settled  on  Davidson's 
river,  above  the  mill,  at  the  Joel  Mackey  place.  The  Gash 
family  were  originally  from  Buncombe.  Leander  S.  Gash 
lived  for  a  time  in  Hendersonville  where  he  died.  He  was  a 
prominent  and  influential  man,  having  represented  Henderson 
county  in  1866  in  the  senate;  while  Thomas  L.  Gash  repre- 
sented Transylvania  in  the  house  in  1874.  Their  ancestor 
had  fought  in  the  Revolutionary  War.     The  Duckworths  are 


COUNTY  HISTORY  203 

another  large  and  influential  family,  John  having  settled  at 
the  mouth  of  Cherryfield  creek  on  a  part  of  the  David  Allison 
grant,  which  corners  there,  after  following  the  present  turn- 
pike from  Boylston  creek.     It  was  here,  too,  that  the  Pax- 
tons  lived.     Just  prior  to  the  Civil  War,  while  Transylvania 
was  a  part  of  Henderson  county,  many  wealthy  and  fashion- 
able people  from  the  lower  part  of  South  Caroliua  bought 
many  of  the  finest  farms  and  built  what  were  palatial  homes 
for     those    days.     Among   them   were    Frank    McKune    and 
William  Johnston  from  Georgetown,  S.  C.     Their  fine  teams 
and  liveried  servants  are  still  remembered.     Then,  too,  Rob- 
ert Hume  built  a  stone  hotel  at  the  foot  of  the  Dunn  Rock, 
about  four  miles  southwest  of  Brevard,  where  he  kept  many 
summer  boarders  prior  to  the  Civil  War;  but,   during  that 
awful  time,  the  hotel  was  burned;  the  ruins  still  standing. 
What  is  still  known  as  the  Lowndes  Farm,  on  the  French 
Broad  river,  about  five  miles  below  Brevard,  originally  be- 
longed to  Benjamin  King,  a  Baptist  minister,  who  married 
Miss  Mary  Ann  Shuford;  but  when  the  Cherokee  country  was 
opened  to  the  whites,  Mr.  King  sold  it  to  William  Ward,  a 
son  of  Joshua  Ward.     William  Ward  built  the  fine  house  which 
stands  on  the  land  still;  his  father  having  built  Rock  Hall,  the 
present  home   of  the   Westons.     Ephriam   Clayton  was  the 
contractor  who  built  the  Lowndes  house  for  William  Ward, 
and  it  was  then  one  of  the  show-places  of  Transylvania.     The 
Wards  were  South  Carolina  rice  planters,  and  quite  wealthy; 
but  during  the  Civil  War  William  got  into  debt  to  Mr.  Lowndes, 
a  banker  of  Charleston,  who  obtained  judgments  and  sold 
the  land  after  the  war,  bidding  it  in,  and  afterwards  plac- 
ing the  farm  in  charge  of  a  Scotch  gardner  named  Thomas 
Wood,  who  immediately  put  the  land  in  splendid  condition — 
the  amount  spent  for  the  land  and  improvements  having  cost 
the  estate  nearly  one  hundred  thousand  dollars.    Mr.  Lowndes 
was  very  much  attached  to  this  place  and  spent  much  of 
his  time  there;  but  after  his  death,  his  grandson  did  not  care 
much  for  it,  and  sold  it,  with  stock  and  farm  implements  for 
a  small  sum  to  John  Thrash,  and  he  in  time  sold  it  to  Col. 
Everett,    a    genial    and    popular    gentleman    of    Cleveland, 
Ohio.     He    has    improved    the    place    greatly.     The    original 
farm  now  includes  the  James  Clayton,  the  Wm.  Allison  and 
the  Henry  Osborne  places — all  fine  farms.     The  late  A.  Toomer 


204        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Porter,  of  Charleston,  started  to  build  a  home  on  top  of  a 
small  mountain,  three  and  one  half  miles  down  the  French 
Broad  river,  and  a  Mr.  Clarkson  of  South  Carolina  started 
a  summer  residence  on  the  opposite  side,  but  the  war  stopped 
both  enterprises.  A  relative  of  the  late  P.  T.  Barnum,  owns 
the  Hankel  place  about  three  miles  from  Brevard  on  the 
French  Broad  river.  He  has  an  extensive  chicken  farm, 
containing  5,000  white  Leghorns.  His  name  is  Clark.  Buck 
Forest,  nine  miles  south  of  Brevard  on  Little  river,  containing 
the  shoals  and  three  picturesque  falls  or  cascades  of  that  stream, 
graphically  described  the  "Land  of  the  Sky,"  was  originally 
the  property  of  Micajah  Thomas,  who  after  building  a  hotel 
there  before  the  Civil  War,  kept  summer  boarders  when  deer 
hunting  was  popular;  but  after  the  war  sold  it  to  Joseph  Car- 
son. The  late  Frank  Coxe,  Carson's  brother-in-law,  how- 
ever, paid  for  it,  and  in  the  litigation  which  followed  retained 
the  title  and  possession  by  paying  Carson's  estate  about 
$12,000  in  1910.  The  Coxe  estate  have  since  bought  large 
tracts  of  land  in  that  neighborhood  and  it  is  said  will  create 
a  large  lake  and  build  a  hotel  on  the  property.  The  Patton 
family  of  Transylvania  is  one  of  the  largest  and  most  influential 
of  that  section,  the  original  of  that  name  having  owned  from 
Clayton's  to  the  Deaver  farm,  a  distance  along  the  French 
Broad  river  of  about  three  miles.  They  were  a  large  family, 
but  there  was  land  enough  to  go  around  to  about  a  dozen 
children.     No  better  people  live  anywhere  than  the  Pattons. 

Cherry  Field.  In  November,  1787,  Gen.  Charles  McDow- 
ell and  Willoughby  Williams  entered  200  acres  in  Ruther- 
ford county  (Buncombe  county  Deed  Book  A,  p.  533),  "ad- 
joining the  upper  end  of  his  Cherry  Field  survey  on  French 
Broad  river  and  extending  up  to  his  Meadow  Camp  survey"; 
and  in  November,  1789,  the  State  granted  to  Charles  McDow- 
ell 500  acres  on  both  sides  of  the  French  Broad  river,  includ- 
ing the  forks  of  said  river  where  the  Path  crosses  to  Estatoe 
(Deed  Book  No.  9,  p.  200,  Buncombe).  This  old  Indian  path 
to  Estatoe  crossed  near  Rosman. 

Ben  Davidson's  Creek.40  On  the  25th  of  July,  1788, 
Charles  McDowell  entered  500  acres  in  Rutherford  county  on 
Ben  Davidson's  river,  including  the  Great  Caney  Cove  two  or 
three  miles  above  the  Indian  Path,  though  the  grant  was  not 


COUNTY  HISTORY  205 

issued  till  December  5,  1798  (Buncombe  county  Deed  Book  4, 
p.  531),  and  in  November,  1790,  Ben  Davidson  got  a  grant 
for  640  acres  in  Rutherford  county  on  both  sides  of  French 
Broad  river,  above  James  Davidson's  tract,  including  the 
mouth  of  the  Fork  on  the  north  side  and  adjoining  Joseph 
McDowell's  line,  "since  transferred  to  Charles  McDowell." 
(Buncombe  county  Deed  Book  1,  p.  74.) 

Clay  County  and  Hayesville.  Clay  county  was  enacted 
in  1861,  but  it  was  organized  in  1864.  The  first  sheriff  was 
John  Patterson,  but  he  could  not  give  the  necessary  bond  and 
the  commissioners  appointed  J.  P.  Chastine  in  his  place. 
Then  came  James  P.  Cherry  who  was  sheriff  for  many  years. 
Wm.  McConnell  was  the  first  register  of  deeds.  John  C. 
Moore,  G.  W.  Bristol  and  Harvey  Penland  were  the  first 
County  Commissioners.  The  county  seat  was  named  for 
George  W.  Hayes.  He  lived  on  Valley  river  near  Murphy 
and  was  the  father  of  Mr.  Ham  Hayes,  who  is  still  living. 
He  was  an  extraordinary  man  and  much  respected.  He  had 
Clay  county  cut  off  from  Cherokee  while  he  was  in  the  legis- 
lature. 

John  H.  Johnson  of  Tennessee,  Robert  Martin  of  Wilkes 
county,  North  Carolina,  and  Elijah  Herbert  of  Wythe  county, 
Virginia,  married  three  daughters  of  John  Alexander,  of  Ab- 
shers,  Wilkes  county,  North  Carolina,  about  1823,  and  after- 
wards moved  to  Clay,  then  Cherokee  county,  when  the  Chero- 
kee lands  were  sold.  They  settled  near  Hayesville.  Elijah 
Herbert,  who  had  married  Winifred  Alexander,  died  in  March, 
1875,  aged  seventy-four  years.  John  H.  Johnson  died  about 
1895.     Robert  Martin  died  about  1880. 

Clay  county  lands  are  exceedingly  fertile  and,  with  the 
sparkling  Hiwassee  river  flowing  through  the  center  from  east 
to  west,  with  its  tributaries,  Tusquittee,  Brasstown,  Sweet- 
water, Shooting  Creek  and  various  other  smaller  streams  and 
hundreds  of  clear,  sparkling  springs,  make  it  a  well  watered 
country.  It  is  surrounded  on  three  sides  by  mountains  form- 
ing an  amphitheatre  overlooking  a  valley  that  is  unexcelled  for 
natural  beauty.  Its  soil  is  adapted  to  the  production  of  all 
the  grains  and  grasses  but  more  especially  to  the  growth  of 
apples.  This  county  has  long  been  noted  for  the  morality  of 
its  people  and  the  maintenance  of  a  high  school   at   Hayes- 


206        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

ville,  the  county  seat,  the  courts  seldom  last  longer  than  two 
days,  and  often  only  one  day,  and  the  jail  is  almost  always 
free  of  prisoners. 

This  county  was  settled  largely  by  emigrants  from  the 
counties  east  of  it.  The  Cherokee  Indians  were  removed  from 
this  particular  territory  in  the  year  1838,  but  a  number  of 
pioneers  had  settled  in  the  county  prior  to  their  removal.  G. 
W.  Hayes  was  the  representative  in  the  legislature  from  Cher- 
okee at  that  time  and  the  county  seat  was  named  in  his  honor. 
The  minerals  of  the  county  are  gold,  corundum,  asbestos,  gar- 
net, mica,  kaolin,  and  iron. 

George  W.  Bristol  came  from  Burke  county  in  the  spring  of 
1844  and  settled  at  the  Mission  Farm  on  Peachtree  creek.  The 
Bristols  came  to  Burke  from  Connecticut.  His  son,  Thomas 
B.  Bristol,  was  born  in  Burke  county  July  3,  1830,  and  mar- 
ried Mary  Addie  Johnson,  a  daughter  of  the  late  John  H. 
Johnson  of  Tusquittee,  January  22,  1852.  He  died  January 
19,  1907.     His  widow  survived  him  till  October  8,  1911. 

Archibald  0.  Lyon  was  born  in  Tennessee  and  married  Miss 
M.  E.  Martin  September  14,  1856.  She  was  a  daughter  of 
Robert  Martin,  one  of  the  first  and  most  prominent  settlers 
of  Clay  county.  A.  0.  Lyon  died  February  16,  1885.  He 
went  to  Raleigh  soon  after  the  Civil  War  and  obtained  a  char- 
ter for  a  Masonic  lodge  at  Hayesville,  which  was  organized 
as  Clay  Lodge  October  2,  1866.  He  was  its  Worshipful  Mas- 
ter ten  years  and  a  faithful  member  for  nineteen  years.  He 
was  a  progressive  and  successful  farmer,  and  was  loved  and 
respected  by  all  who  knew  him.  James  H.  Penland  also  mar- 
ried one  of  John  H.  Johnson's  daughters,  Miss  Fanny  E. 
Johnson,  as  did  H.  G.  Trotter  of  Franklin  and  Win.  B.  Tid- 
well  of  Tusquittee  two  others. 

John  C.  Moore  was  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  Clay  county 
and  lived  in  an  Indian  hut  which  stood  near  a  beech  tree  near 
John  H.  Johnson's  house  before  the  land  sale.  He  came  from 
Rutherford  county  and  married  Polly  Bryson  of  Mills  river. 
Their  daughter,  Sarah,  married  Wm.  H.  Herbert  about  the 
year  1851. 

W.  P.  Moore,  universally  called  "Irish  Bill,"  was  a  son  of 
Joab  Moore  and  was  born  in  Rutherford  county  and  was  a 
brother  of  John  C.  Moore.  He  married  Miss  Hattie  Gash  of 
Transylvania  county.     He  was  a  captain  in  the  Confederate 


COUNTY  HISTORY  207 

army  and  " every  inch  a  soldier."  He  is  still  living  at  his 
home  on  Tusquittee,  aged  eighty-three  years. 

Alexander  Barnard  settled  on  Hiwassee  river,  three  miles 
above  Hayesville.  Eli  Sanderson  was  born  in  Connecticut 
and  was  the  father  of  George  W.  Sanderson  who  died  some 
years  ago.  He  and  William  Sanderson  were  among  the  first 
settlers  of  Clay  county.  James  Coleman  was  also  among 
the  first  settlers  and  owned  a  large  farm.  William  Hancock 
lived  below  Hayesville  and  Richard  Pass  came  early  from 
Georgia  to  Clay  county.  One  of  his  daughters  married  S.  H. 
Haigler  of  Hayesville. 

Joshua  Harshaw  was  the  original  settler  at  the  mouth  of 
Brasstown  creek  on  a  good  farm.  He  came  early  from  Burke 
county.  Abner  Chastine  came  from  Jackson  county  early 
and  died  about  1874  or  1875,  when  an  old  man.  He  left  sev- 
eral children,  among  them  having  been  J.  P.  Chastine  the 
first  sheriff  of  Clay  county.  Byron  Brown  married  Miss 
Nancy  Parsons  and  died  about  1901.  Daniel  K.  Moore,  of 
Buncombe  county,  also  lived  on  Brasstown.  He  married  a 
Miss  Dickey  and  was  the  father  of  Judge  Frederick  Moore. 
He  is  still  living.  Henry  Piatt,  the  father  of  the  present 
Rev.  J.  T.  Piatt  of  Clay,  was  also  an  early  settler,  and  died 
many  years  ago. 

George  McLure  came  from  Macon  county  long  before  the 
Civil  War  and  settled  near  Hiwassee  river.  He  was  the  father 
of  W.  H.  McLure  who  has  represented  Clay  county  in  the 
legislature.  W.  H.  McLure  married  one  of  the  daughters  of 
R.  S.  Pass  and  was  one  of  the  California  Forty-Niners.  He 
stayed  in  California  till  the  Civil  War,  when  he  returned  to 
Clay  county. 

The  Mission  farm  is  now  partly  owned  by  the  heirs  of  a 
Mr.  Sudderth,  originally  of  Burke  county.  He  was  at  one 
time  sheriff  of  Clay  and  a  gentleman  of  fine  character.  Fort 
Embree,  one  of  the  collecting  forts  at  time  of  the  removal 
of  the  Cherokees,  was  on  a  hill  just  one  mile  southwest  of 
Hayesville.  There  is  an  Indian  Mound  at  the  mouth  of 
Peachtree  creek  on  the  old  Robert  McLure  farm.  It  is  about 
the  same  size  as  that  near  Franklin.  There  is  also  a  mound 
half  a  mile  east  of  Hayesville  which  is  highest  of  all  these 
mounds.  It  is  on  the  land  of  W.  H.  McLure  and  S.  H.  Alli- 
son, their  line  splitting  the  mound. 


208         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Among  other  prominent  citizens  of  Clay  should  be  men- 
tioned Dr.  D.  W.  Killian,  Dr.  John  Duncan,  Gailor  Bristol 
and  S.  H.  Allison's  father,  who  came  to  Clay  many  years  ago. 
S.  H.  Allison  married  Miss  Elizabeth  Lyon,  daughter  of  A.  O. 
Lyon.  John  0.  Hicks  was  born  in  Rutherford  county  and 
was  among  the  first  school  teachers  in  Clay  county.  He 
built  up  a  splendid  school  at  Fort  Embree  and  afterwards 
moved  to  Hayesville.  He  represented  Clay  in  the  legislature. 
He  closed  his  school  in  1876  and  moved  to  Walhalla,  South 
Carolina,  and  then  went  to  Texas,  where  he  died  in  1910. 

There  is  now  a  fine  high  school  at  Hayesville.  It  is  in 
charge  of  Mr.  N.  A.  Fessenden,  who  succeeded  John  O.  Hicks. 
Among  those  who  have  distinguished  themselves  after  attend- 
ing this  school  are  Rev.  Ferd.  C.  McConnell,  of  Texas,  one  of  the 
finest  preachers  of  the  Baptist  church;  George  Truett,  another 
fine  preacher;  and  Hon.  George  Bell  of  the  Tenth  Georgia 
Congressional  district. 

Swain  County  and  Bryson  City.  The  county  was  cre- 
ated in  1871.  The  first  court  house  was  a  frame  building, 
with  the  upper  floor  for  a  court  room  and  the  lower  for  a  jail. 
The  "cage"  was  a  pen  of  logs,  under  the  front  outside  stairs, 
and  was  used  for  misdemeanants  only.  The  dungeon  was  a 
log  room  within  a  log  room,  the  space  between  being  filled 
with  stones.  A  padlocked  trapdoor  from  the  floor  above  was 
the  only  entrance,  reached  by  a  ladder  let  down  when  required. 
Bryson  City  was  first  called  Charleston,  which  name  it  retained 
sixteen  years  when  it  was  called  Bryson  in  honor  of  Col.  Thad. 
Dillard  Bryson  who  was  instrumental  in  having  the  new  county 
formed.  Col.  D.  K.  Collins  built  the  first  house  there,  Capt. 
Epp  Everett  the  next,  and  James  Raby  and  M.  Battle  fol- 
lowed. H.  J.  Beck  was  first  clerk  of  court,  Epp  Everett  sher- 
riff,  D.  K.  Collins  postmaster,  and  Wm.  Enloe,  B.  McHane, 
and  John  DeHart  county  commissioners. 

Oconalufty.  The  first  settlers  on  this  creek  were  Robert 
Collins,  Isaac  Bradley,  John  Beck,  John  Mingus,  Abraham 
Enloe,  after  whom  came  the  Hugheses,  Connors,  Floyds,  Sher- 
rills,  etc.  Col.  D.  K.  Collins'  mother  had  thirteen  children,  of 
whom  twelve  lived  to  be  grown.  Seven  of  her  sons  took  part 
in  the  Civil  War,  one  being  killed.  Their  neighbor  had  eighteen 
children.  The  earliest  settlers  on  Deep  creek  were  the  Shulers, 
Wiggins,  and  Millsaps.  Those  on  Alarka  were  the  Cochrans, 
Brendels,  Welches,  and  DeHarts. 


COUNTY  HISTORY  209 

Robert  Collins.  He  was  the  guide  and  assistant  of  Pro- 
fessor Arnold  Guyot's  surveying  party  in  1858-59,  and  Col. 
D.  K.  Collins  was  along  as  a  helper,  to  carry  the  instruments, 
chain,  stakes,  etc.  They  followed  the  summit  of  the  Smoky 
mountains  from  Cocke  county,  Tenn.,  to  Blount  county,  Tenn., 
breaking  up  the  party  at  Montvale  springs,  16  miles  from 
Maryville.  Robert  Collins  was  born  on  Oconalufty  river 
September  4,  1806,  married  Elizabeth  Beck,  December  30, 
1830,  and  died  April  9,  1863,  when  he  was  an  officer  in  charge 
of  500  troops,  mostly  Cherokees,  in  Sevier  county,  Tenn. 

Eli  Arrington.  ,  He  helped  to  carry  Rhynehart,  who  was  ill 
of  milk-sick  in  1855,  near  Collins  gap.  Wain  Battle  was  also  one 
of  the  party  who  helped  carry  Rhynehart  from  the  mountains. 
About  two  years  later  he  was  with  Dr.  John  Mingus,  Dr.  Davis 
and  a  few  others  going  to  the  Alum  cave  where  Col.  Thomas  got 
magnesia  and  alum  during  the  war,  and  took  sick  and  died 
alone  in  one  of  the  roughest  countries  in  the  mountains.  He 
was  found  by  Col.  D.  K.  Collins  and  taken  to  his  home  in 
Waynesville. 

Danger  in  Crossing  the  Unakas  in  Winter.     Andrew 

Sherman  and O'Neal,  two  lumbermen,  left  camp  on 

the  head  of  Tellico  creek  just  before  Christmas,  1899,  intend- 
ing to  cross  the  Unaka  mountains  south  of  the  John  Stratton 
Meadows,  near  Haw  Knob,  so  as  to  reach  Robbinsville  in  time 
for  Christmas.  They  got  as  far  as  the  Whig  cabin  where  they 
bought  some  whiskey  from  Jim  Brooksher;  after  which  they 
started  to  cross  the  Hooper  bald.  A  blizzard  and  heavy 
snowstorm  began  and  continued  all  that  night.  They  were 
never  seen  again  alive.  In  September  following  Forest  Den- 
ton found  their  skeletons  near  the  Huckleberry  Knob,  where 
Sherman's  remains  were  buried;  but  some  physicians  took 
O'Neal's  remains  home  with  them. 

Origin  of  Names.  Hazel  creek  was  named  from  a  patch 
of  hazelnut  bushes  near  its  mouth;  Noland  creek  was  named 
for  Andrew  Noland,  its  first  settler;  Chambers  creek  for  John 
Chambers;  Eagle  creek  from  a  nest  of  eagles  near  its  head; 
Twenty-Mile  creek  is  so  called  because  it  is  just  twenty  miles 
from  the  junction  of  Tuckaseegee  and  Little  Tennessee  rivers. 

William  Monteith.  He  was  the  father  of  Samuel  and  the 
grandfather  of  Ellis,  John,  Robert  and  Western  Monteith.  He 
married  Nancy  Crawford. 

W.  N.C.— 14 


210         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Col.  Thaddeus  Dillard  Bryson.  He  was  born  near  the 
present  railroad  station  called  Beta,  Jackson  county,  February 
13,  1829,  was  married  to  Miss  Mary  C.  Greenlee  of  Turkey 
Cove,  McDowell  county,  April  4,  1871.  He  died  at  his  home 
at  Bryson  City,  January  2,  1890.  He  represented  Jackson 
and  Swain  a  number  of  years  in  the  legislature.  He  was  ap- 
pointed colonel-commandant  of  the  Jackson  county  regiment 
militia,  February  20,  1854,  and  was  commissioned  captain  in 
the  20th  N.  C.  Infantry  of  the  Confederate  army,  September 
7,  1861. 

Bryson  City  has  one  bank,  three  hotels,  several  boarding 
houses,  a  pump  factory  where  columns  and  liquor  logs  are 
made,  a  roller  mill  of  35-barrel  capacity,  an  ice  plant,  bottling 
works,  a  telephone  system,  a  planing  mill,  lumber  yards  and 
builder's  supplies,  livery  stables  and  a  fine  retail  and  whole- 
sale trade  with  the  surrounding  country.  The  town  owns  its 
own  water  system  and  watershed  at  Rich  gap  of  200  acres. 
The  water  is  from  mountain  springs  and  is  piped  to  a  fine 
reservoir  on  Arlington  Heights  overlooking  the  town.  There 
is  also  a  sewerage  system.  The  town  owns  its  own  water 
power  plant  three  miles  up  Deep  Creek  which  furnishes  elec- 
tricity to  operate  the  ice  plant  and  the  roller  mill  and  the 
electric  lights  of  the  town,  and  has  surplus  power  to  sell.  It 
has  140-horsepower  capacity. 

Graham  and  Robbinsville.  Graham  was  formed  in  1872, 
but  it  was  represented  in  the  legislature  by  the  member  from 
Cherokee  till  1883,  when  George  B.  Walker,  Esq.,  was  elected 
to  the  house.  The  county  commissioners-elect  met  at  King 
&  Cooper's  store  on  Cheoah  river,  October  21,  1872,  and  were 
sworn  in  by  J.  W.  King,  J.  P.;  J.  J.  Colvard,  John  Gholey,  G. 
W.  Hooper,  N.  F.  Cooper,  and  John  Sawyer,  commissioners, 
all  being  present.  J.  J.  Colvard  was  elected  chairman,  and 
the  official  bond  of  William  Carpenter,  register  deeds,  was 
approved.  So  were  also  the  bonds  of  John  G.  Tatham,  as 
clerk,  J.  S.  Hyde,  as  sheriff,  Reuben  Carver,  surveyor,  all  of 
whom  were  sworn  in.  It  was  then  ordered  that  the  first  term 
of  the  Superior  court  be  held  at  the  Baptist  church  in  Cheoah 
township,  about  one  mile  from  Robbinsville.  Judge  Riley 
Cannon  held  this  court  at  that  place  in  March,  1873;  and  the 
first  court  held  in  the  court  house  in  Robbinsville  was  the  fall 
term  of  1874.     On  the  7th  of  December,  1872,  the  commission- 


COUNTY  HISTORY  211 

ers  considered  three  sites  for  the  county  seat  :  Rhea  Hill,  Fort 
Hill,  and  land  of  C.  A.  Colvards.  They  chose  the  first 
named.  Junaluska,  the  Cherokee  chief,  lived  at  Robbinsville 
and  is  buried  there.  A  tablet  on  an  immense  boulder  marks 
his  grave.  Snowbird  mountains,  the  Joanna  Bald,  the 
Hooper  Bald,  Huckleberry  Knob,  Laurel  Top,  the  two  Stratton 
Balds,  the  Hang  Over,  the  Hay  0,  the  Fodder  Stack  and  the 
Swim  Bald  are  the  principal  mountain  peaks.  They  are  the 
least  known  of  any  of  our  mountains.  In  them  head  the 
Santeetla,  Buffalo,  Snowbird,  Sweet  Water,  the  Yellow  and 
Tallulah  creeks,  all  of  which  flow  into  the  Cheoah  river.  One 
hundred  and  fifty  Cherokee  Indians  live  on  the  head  of  Snowbird 
and  Buffalo  creeks.  There  is  more  virgin  forest  land  in  this 
county  than  in  any  other  now.  It  has  immense  resources  in  water 
power,  and  the  gorge  at  Rocky  Point  where  the  Little  Tennessee 
goes  through  has  great  value  as  a  power  site.  The  Union  Devel- 
opment Company  has  bought  up  many  sites  on  these  streams. 
In  1910-11  the  Whiting  Manufacturing  Company  bought  up 
many  of  the  lots  and  houses  in  Robbinsville  and  many  thousands 
of  acres  of  timber  lands.  Lafayette  Ghormley  is  the  grandson 
of  the  man  of  that  name  who  lived  near  the  mouth  of  Mountain 
creek,  and  the  son  of  DeWitt  Ghormley.  Dave  Orr  went  to 
his  present  home  between  Bear  and  Slick  Rock  creeks  in  1866, 
and  his  fame  as  a  hunter  and  trapper  is  now  secure.  Rev. 
Joseph  A.  Wiggins,  a  distinguished  Methodist  minister  of  this 
county,  was  born  on  Alarka  creek  in  1832,  but  moved  with  his 
father  to  Graham  in  1840,  when  there  was  but  one  wagon 
road,  that  from  Old  Valley  Town  to  Fort  Montgomery,  just 
constructed  for  the  soldiers  who  removed  the  Indians  in  1838. 
Dr.  Dan  F.  Summey  of  Asheville  was  in  charge  of  its  con- 
struction. There  were  no  mills  except  a  few  grist  mills,  an 
wheat  was  "packed"  on  horses  by  a  trail  to  a  mill  five  mile 
from  what  is  now  Bryson  City — a  distance  of  about  thirty 
miles.  Indian  relics  were  then  plentiful  at  the  head  of  Tallu- 
lah creek  at  what  is  called  The  Meadows.  Mr.  Wiggins  mar- 
ried a  daughter  of  George  W.  Hayes,  after  whom  Haycsville 
was  named.  There  was  not  a  church  in  the  county  and  but 
a  few  log  school  houses.  He  began  to  preach  in  1859,  and 
served  four  years  as  chaplain  in  the  Confederate  army,  after 
which  he  rode  circuits  in  Tennessee,  Southwestern  Virginia 
and  Western  North  Carolina  till  stationed  in   Graham  county 


212         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

His  great-grandfather  Garland  Wiggins  served  in  the  Revolu- 
tionary War,  as  did  his  wife's  great-grandfather,  Edward 
Hayes.  Andrew  Colvard  lived  on  Long  Hungry  branch,  which 
got  its  name  from  the  fact  that  a  party  of  hunters  was  once 
detained  there  by  high  water  till  their  rations  gave  out  and 
they  were  for  a  long  time  hungry.  The  Stewarts  of  San- 
teetla  came  from  Georgia  and  the  Lovens  from  Ducktown, 
Tenn.  John  and  Robert  Stratton  came  from  Monroe  county, 
Tenn.,  in  the  thirties  and  settled  on  the  Unaka  mountains 
between  the  head  of  Sassafras  ridge  and  Santeetla  creek. 
John  lived  on  the  John  Stratton  Bald  ten  years  and  caught 
19  panthers  on  Laurel  Top,  making  "bacon"  of  their  hams 
and  shoulders.  He  came  with  nothing  but  his  rifle,  blanket, 
skillet  and  ammunition,  but  made  enough  herding  cattle  and 
selling  deer  and  bear  hams  and  hides,  etc.,  to  buy  a  fine  farm 
in  Monroe  county,  Tenn.  On  a  rude  stone  on  the  John  Strat- 
ton meadow  is  carved: 

A.  S. 

Was  born 
1787 

Died  1839. 
A  State  Line  stone  stands  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  away. 
John  Ropetwister,  Organdizer,  Big  Fat  Commisseen  and  others 
moved  from  East  Buffalo  creek  to  Slick  Rock  during  the 
Removal  of  1838,  where  they  remained  in  concealment  till 
Col.  Thomas  arranged  to  have  the  remnant  remain.  They 
sent  their  women  into  Tennessee  to  swap  bear  and  deer  hides 
for  meal.  Thomas  Cooper,  the  father  of  James  W.  Cooper 
of  Murphy,  lived  on  Tallulah  three  miles  east  of  Robbinsville. 
There  was  a  large  and  influential  family  of  Crisps  who  settled 
on  Stekoah,  of  whom  Hon.  Joel  L.  Crisp  is  a  distinguished 
representative.  Rev.  Isaac  Carringer  came  from  the  eastern 
part  of  this  State  and  lived  on  Santeetla.  He  was  a  Baptist 
minister  and  died  about  1897,  highly  respected.  John  Den- 
ton the  most  picturesque  mountaineer  in  this  section,  moved 
from  Polk  county,  Tenn.,  to  Little  Santeetla  in  1879.  In 
1900  he  was  crippled  while  logging.  He  stands  six  feet  three 
in  his  stockings.  Soon  after  his  arrival  some  of  the  bullies 
of  Robbinsville  tested  John's  pluck;  but  he  worsted  five  of 
them  in  a  fist  fight,  and  since  then  he  has  lived  in  peace.  His, 
wife's  mother  was  Jane  Meroney,  and  a  first  cousin  of  Jeffer- 


COUNTY  HISTORY  213 

son  Davis.     She  married  a  Turner,  Mrs.  Denton's  given  name 
being  Albertine. 

Avery  County.  This  was  created  in  1911,  out  of  portions 
of  Watauga  and  Mitchell  counties,  principally. 4  L  At  an 
election  held  August  1,  1911,  Old  Fields  of  Toe  was  selected 
as  the  county  seat.  It  so  happened  that  this  land  had  been 
granted  to  Col.  Waightstill  Avery  November  9,  1783.  It  was 
in  his  honor  that  this,  the  100th  county,  was  named,  while 
the  county  seat  was  called  Newland,  in  honor  of  Hon.  W.  C. 
Newland,  of  Lenoir,  then  the  lieutenant  governor  of  the  State. 
The  jail  and  court  house  were  completed  sufficiently  to  allow 
court  to  be  held  in  April,  1913,  Judge  Daniels  presiding.  There 
are  two  legends  concerning  the  reason  this  tract  was  called 
the  Old  Fields  of  Toe.  L.  D.  Lowe,  Esq.,  in  the  Watauga 
Democrat  of  June  19,  1913,  states  that  one  legend  relates  that 
Estatoe,  the  daughter  of  one  of  two  rival  chieftains,  fell  in  love 
with  the  son  of  the  other;  but  her  father  refused  his  consent, 
which  caused  a  bloody  war  between  the  two  factions.  But 
Estatoe  caused  a  pipe  of  peace  to  be  made  with  two  stems 
of  ti-ti  so  that  two  could  smoke  it  at  once.  The  two  rival 
chiefs  assembled  their  respective  followers  on  the  bank  of  the 
river,  and  smoked  till  peace  was  concluded  and  Estatoe  mar- 
ried her  lover.  The  other  legend  is  that  found  in  The  Balsam 
Groves  of  the  Grandfather  mountain  (p.  221),  and  in  it  Esta- 
toe is  made  to  drown  herself  because  she  could  not  wed  her 
Indian  lover  because  of  her  father's  implacable  opposition. 

Avery  County's  Long  Pedigree.  "It  was  a  part  of 
Clarendon  in  1729;  of  New  Hanover  in  1729;  of  Bladen  in  1734; 
of  Anson  in  1749;  of  Rowan  in  1753;  of  Surry  in  1770;  of  Burke 
in  1777;  of  Wilkes  in  1777;  of  Ashe  in  1799;  of  Yancey  in  1833; 
of  Caldwell  in  1841;  of  Watauga  in  1849;  of  Mitchell  in  1861; 
so  that  that  portion  taken  from  Caldwell  and  attached  to 
Avery  in  1911  represents  the  eighth  subdivision;  and  that 
from  Watauga  the  tenth;  which  is  a  record  probably  unsur- 
passed."42 The  principal  reason  for  the  formation  of  this 
new  county  was  the  inaccessibility  of  Bakersville  to  most  of  the 
inhabitants  of  Mitchell,  it  being  in  the  northeastern  part  of 
that  county  and  only  two  and  a  half  miles  from  the  Yancey 
line. 4  3  Lineville  City,  two  miles  from  Montezuma  and  Pinola, 
is  "the  cleanest  town  in  the  North  Carolina  mountains  east 
of  Asheville,  and  the  only  place  of  the  kind  where  guests 


214         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

have  a  large,  ideal  zone  for  golf."  44  The  same  author  speaks 
of  the  Yonahlossee  road,  running  from  Linville  City  to  Blow- 
ing Rock,  as  the  Appian  Way  which  ran  from  Rome  via  Naples, 
to  Brundesium,  and  claims  that  the  latter  was  not  more  inter- 
esting than  the  former. 4  5  The  world  will  one  day  admit  that 
the  fine  scenery  of  North  Carolina  has  its  culmination  in 
Avery  county. 


iFrorn  Asheville's  Centenary. 

nbid. 

'Ibid. 

«Ibid. 

*Ibid. 

"Bourne's  Asheville  Code,  1909,  vi.  Scaife  v.  Land  Co.,  90  Federal  Reporter  (p.  238.) 
The  deed  from  Tate  to  Morris  is  on  parchment  nearly  fifteen  feet  in  length.  It  was  written 
by  an  English  law  clerk,  and  still  looks  like  copperplate.  At  page  165  of  the  Colonial  Rec- 
ords is  found  a  letter  from  Robert  Morris  to  the  governor  of  North  Carolina  in  refernece  to 
a  settlement  of  the  account  between  this  state  and  the  United  States,  in  which  he  refers  to 
the  proposed  arbitration  in  which  this  State  proposed  to  appoint  one  arbitrator  and  retain 
power  of  objecting  to  the  other! 

*Pronounced  Cochay.  He  was  a  Frenchman  who  had  been  brought  to  the  Sulphur 
Springs  by  Col.  Reuben  Deaver  as  a  confectionery  and  pastery  cook. 

5     ill  Book  B,  p.  103,  September  23,  1844. 

'Dr.  A.  B.  Cox's  "Footprints  on  the  Sands  of  Time,"  p.  107. 

1  "Record  Book  Superior  Court,  not  paged. 
"Ibid. 

"From  information  furnished  by  Hon.  A.  H.  Eller,  1912. 

"Ibid. 

i*Ibid. 

"Ibid. 

"Ibid. 

"Allen. 

"Col.  Allen  T.  Davidson,  in  The  Lyceum,  January,  1891. 

"Ibid. 

2  "Ibid. 

2 'Nineteenth  Annual  Report  of  Bureau  of  Ethnology,  p.  43. 

"Vol.  II,  Rev.  St.,  1837,  p.  195. 

2''' A  Brief  History  of  Macon  County,"  by  Rev.  C.  D.  Smith  Franklin,  1905.  "The 
organization  of  the  county  took  place  nine  years  after  the  survey  of  the  lands  and  the  loca- 
ion  of  the  site  for  the  town  of  Franklin." 

sqbid. 

25Much  of  the  information  about  the  citizens  of  Franklin  and  Macon  was  furnished  by 
Henry  G.  Robertson,  Esq. 

26In  1852  he  represented  Macon  in  the  House  of  Commons. 

"Henry  G.  Robertson,  Esq.,  to  J.  P.  A.,  1912. 

"Ibid. 

"Connor. 

30\Vritten  for  this  history  by  Mrs.  Mattie  S.  Candler  of  Hendersonville. 

31Zeigler  &  Grosscup. 

32The  county  seat  was  named  in  honor  of  Judge  Archibald  D.  Murphey,  who  was 
elected  to  the  Superior  court  bench  in  1818  and  resigned  in  1819.  He  spelt  his  name,  how- 
ever with  an  "e". 

"Deed  Book  G,  p.  139,  et  seq. 

S4Madison  county  records. 

35See  ante,  page  7. 

36Facts  as  to  Alleghany  county  furnished  by  Hon.  S.  F.  Thompson. 

"Deed  Book  C,  p.  30. 

"Deed  Book  E,  p.  203. 

"Facts  Furnished  by  Hon.  George  A.  Shuford. 

4 "What  used  to  be  called  Davidson's  River  settlement  is  now  known  as  Pisgah  Forest. 

*  'Caldwell  also  contributed  to  this  territory. 

42L.  D.  Lowe,  Esq.,  in  Watauga  Democrat,  May  23,  1913. 

<3Ibid. 

"Balsam  Groves,  223. 

46The  same  author  claims  that  the  Old  Fields  of  Toe,  now  Newland,  was  a  muster 
ground  before  the  Civil  War,  p.  180. 


CHAPTER  IX 

PIONEER  PREACHERS 

Solitude  and  Religion.  The  isolation  of  the  early  set- 
tlers was  conducive  to  religious  thoughts,  especially  among 
the  uneducated  ministry  of  that  day.  This  is  impressively 
told  in  the  following  paragraph: 

"There  was  naught  in  the  scene  to  suggest  to  a  mind  familiar  with 
the  facts  an  oriental  landscape — naught  akin  to  the  hills  of  Judea. 
Yet,  ignorance  has  license.  It  never  occurred  to  Teck  Jepson  [a  local 
preacher  in  the  novel]  that  his  biblical  heroes  had  lived  elsewhere. 
He  brooded  upon  the  Bible  narratives,  instinct  with  dramatic  movement, 
enriched  with  poetic  color,  and  localized  in  his  robust  imagination,  till 
he  could  trace  Hagar's  wild  wanderings  in  the  fastnesses;  could  show 
where  Jacob  slept  and  piled  his  altar  of  stones;  could  distinguish  the 
bush,  of  all  others  on  the  "bald,"  that  blazed  with  fire  from  heaven 
when  the  angel  of  the  Lord  stood  within  it;  .  .  .  saw  David,  the 
smiling  stripling,  running  and  holding  high  in  his  right  hand  the  bit  of 
cloth  cut  from  Saul's  garments  while  the  king  had  slept  in  a  cave  at  the 
base  of  Chilhowie  mountain.  And  how  was  the  splendid  miracle  of 
translation  discredited  because  Jepson  believed  that  the  chariot  of  the 
Lord  had  rested  in  scarlet  and  purple  clouds  upon  the  towering  summit 
of  Thunderhead  that  Elijah  might  thence  ascend  into  heaven?"1 

Early  Preachers.  Staunton,  Lexington  and  Abingdon,  Vir- 
ginia, and  Jonesboro,  Tenn.,  and  Morganton,  N.  C,  have  been 
largely  Presbyterian  from  their  earliest  beginning.  Not  so, 
however,  Western  North  Carolina  in  which  the  Baptists  and 
Methodists  got  the  " start"  and  have  maintained  it  ever  since, 
notwithstanding  the  presence  almost  from  the  first  of  the  Rev. 
George  Newton  and  many  excellent  ministers  of  the  Presby- 
terian faith  since  his  day.  The  progress  of  the  Methodists 
was  due  largely,  no  doubt,  to  the  frequent  visits  of  Bishop 
Asbury. 

The  First  Methodist  Bishop.  "In  the  year  1800  Bishop 
Francis  Asbury  began  to  include  the  French  Broad  valley  in 
his  annual  visits  throughout  the  eastern  part  of  the  United 
States,  which  extended  as  far  west  as  Kentucky  and  Ten- 
nessee."2    He  was  so  encouraged  by  the  religious  hunger  he 

(215) 


216        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

discovered  in  these  mountain  coves  that  he  continued  his 
visits  till  November,  1813,  notwithstanding  the  rough  fare 
he  no  doubt  frequently  had  to  put  up  with.  Following  ex- 
tracts are  from  his  "Journal": 

At  Warm  Springs  in  1800. 

(Thursday,  November  6,  1800.)  "Crossed  Nolachucky  at  Querton'a 
Ferry,  and  came  to  Major  Craggs',  18  miles.  I  next  day  pursued  my 
journey  and  arrived  at  Warm  Springs,  not,  however,  without  an  ugly 
accident.  After  we  had  crossed  the  Small  and  Great  Paint  mountain, 
and  had  passed  about  thirty  yards  beyond  the  Paint  Rock,  my  roan 
horse,  led  by  Mr.  O'Haven,  reeled  and  fell  over,  taking  the  chaise  with 
him;  I  was  called  back,  when  I  beheld  the  poor  beast  and  the  carriage, 
bottom  up,  lodged  and  wedged  against  a  sapling,  which  alone  prevented 
them  both  being  precipitated  into  the  river.  After  a  pretty  heavy  lift 
all  was  righted  again,  and  we  were  pleased  to  find  there  was  little  damage 
done.  Our  feelings  were  excited  more  for  others  than  ourselves.  Not 
far  off  we  saw  clothing  spread  out,  part  of  the  loading  of  household  fur- 
niture of  a  wagon  which  had  overset  and  was  thrown  into  the  stream,  and 
bed  clothes,  bedding,  etc.,  were  so  wet  that  the  poor  people  found  it  neces- 
sary to  dry  them  on  the  spot.  We  passed  the  side  fords  of  French  Broad, 
and  came  to  Mr.  Nelson's;  our  mountain  march  of  twelve  miles  calmed 
us  down  for  this  day.  My  company  was  not  agreeable  here — there  were 
too  many  subjects  of  the  two  great  potentates  of  this  Western  World, 
whisky,  brandy.     My  mind  was  greatly  distressed." 

Curiously  Contrived  Rope  and  Pole  Ferry. 

"North  Carolina, — Saturday  8.  We  started  away.  The  cold  was 
severe  upon  the  fingers.  We  crossed  the  ferry,  curiously  contrived  with 
a  rope  and  pole,  for  half  a  mile  along  the  banks  of  the  river,  to  guide  the 
boat  by.  And  O  the  rocks!  the  rocks!  Coming  to  Laurel  river,  we  fol- 
lowed the  wagon  ahead  of  us — the  wagon  stuck  fast.  Brother  O'H. 
mounted  old  Gray — the  horse  fell  about  midway,  but  recovered,  rose, 
and  went  safely  through  with  his  burden.  We  pursued  our  way  rapidly 
to  Ivy  creek,  suffering  much  from  heat  and  the  roughness  of  the  roads, 
and  stopped  at  William  Hunter's." 

At  Thomas  Foster's. 

"Sabbath  Day,  9.  We  came  to  Thomas  Foster's,  and  held  a  small 
meeting  at  his  house.  We  must  bid  farewell  to  the  chaise;  this  mode  of 
conveyance  by  no  means  suits  the  roads  of  this  wilderness.  We  were 
obliged  to  keep  one  behind  the  carriage  with  a  strap  to  hold  by,  and  pre- 
vent accidents  almost  continually.  I  have  health  and  hard  labor,  and  a 
constant  sense  of  the  favor  of  God." 

Blacksmith,  Carpenter,  Cobbler,  Saddler  and  Hatter. 

"Tobias  Gibson  had  given  notice  to  some  of  my  being  at  Buncombe 
courthouse,  and  the  society  at  Killyon's,  in  consequence  of  this,  made  an 
appointment  for  me  on  Tuesday,  11.     We  were  strongly  importuned  to 


PIONEER  PREACHERS  217 

stay,  which  Brother  Whatcoat  felt  inclined  to  do.  In  the  meantime  we 
had  our  horses  shod  by  Philip  Smith;  this  man,  as  is  not  infrequently 
the  case  in  this  country,  makes  wagons  and  works  at  carpentry,  makes 
shoes  for  men  and  for  horses;  to  which  he  adds,  occasionally  the  manu- 
facture of  saddles  and  hats." 

Rev.  George  Newton  at  Methodist  Service. 

"Monday,  10.  Visited  Squire  Swain's  agreeable  family.  On  Tues- 
day we  attended  our  appointment.  My  foundation  for  a  sermon  was 
Heb.  ii,  1.  We  had  about  eighty  hearers;  among  them  was  Mr.  Newton, 
a  Presbyterian  minister,  who  made  the  concluding  prayer.  We  took  up 
our  journey  and  came  to  Foster's  upon  Swansico  (Swannanoa) — -company 
enough,  and  horses  in  a  drove  of  thirty-three.  Here  we  met  Francis 
Poythress — sick  of  Carolina — and  in  the  clouds.  I,  too,  was  sick.  Next 
morning  we  rode  to  Fletcher's,  on  Mud  creek.  The  people  being  unex- 
pectedly gathei-ed  together,  we  gave  them  a  sermon  and  an  exhortation. 
We  lodged  at  Fletcher's." 

A  Lecture  at  Ben.  Davidson's. 

"Thursday,  13.  We  crossed  French  Broad  at  Kim's  Ferry,  forded 
Mills  river,  and  made  upwards  to  the  barrens  of  Broad  to  Davidson's, 
whose  name  names  the  stream.  The  aged  mother  and  daughter  insisted 
upon  giving  notice  for  a  meeting;  in  consequence  thereof  Mr.  Davis,  the 
Presbyterian  minister,  and  several  others  came  together.  Brother  What- 
coat was  taken  with  a  bleeding  at  the  nose,  so  that  necessity  was  laid 
upon  me  to  lecture;  my  subject  was  Luke  xi,  13." 

Describes  the  French  Broad. 

"Friday,  14.  We  took  our  leave  of  French  Broad — the  lands  fiat  and 
good,  but  rather  cold.  I  have  had  an  opportunity  of  making  a  tolerably 
correct  survey  of  this  river.  It  rises  in  the  southwest,  and  winds  along 
in  many  meanders,  fifty  miles  northeast,  receiving  a  number  of  tributary 
streams  in  its  course;  it  then  inclines  westward,  passing  through  Bun- 
combe in  North  Carolina,  and  Green  and  Dandridge  counties  in  Tennes- 
see, in  which  last  it  is  augmented  by  the  waters  of  Nolachucky.  Four 
miles  above  Knoxville  it  forms  a  junction  with  the  Holston,  and  their 
united  waters  flow  along  under  the  name  of  Tennessee,  giving  a  name  to 
the  State.     We  had  no  small  labor  in  getting  down  Saluda  mountain.'' 

Again  at  Warm  Springs.  In  October,  1801,  we  find  this 
entry : 

"  Monday,  October  5.  We  parted  in  great  love.  Our  company  made 
twelve  miles  to  Isaiah  Harrison's,  and  next  day  reached  the  Warm  Springs 
upon  French  Broad  river." 

"Man  and  Beast  'Felt  the  Mighty  Hills.'  " 

"Wednesday,  7.  We  made  a  push  for  Buncombe  courthouse:  man 
and  beast  felt  the  mighty  hills.  I  shall  calculate  from  Baker's  to  this 
place  one  hundred  and  twenty  miles;  from  Philadelphia,  eight  hundred 
and  twenty  miles." 


218        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Resting  at  George  Swain's. 
"Friday,  9.     Yesterday  and  today  we  rested  at  George  Swain's." 

Quarterly  Meeting  at  Daniel  Killon's. 
"Sabbath  Day,  11.     Yesterday  and  today  held  quarterly  meeting  at 
Daniel  Killon's,  near  Buncombe  courthouse.    I  spoke  from  Isa.  lvii,  6,  7 
and  I  Cor.  vii,  1.     We  had  some  quickenings." 

A  Sermon  from  N.  Snethen. 

"Monday,  12.  We  came  to  Murroughs,  upon  Mud  creek;  here  we 
had  a  sermon  from  N.  Snethen  on  Acts  xiv,  15.  Myself  and  James  Dou- 
that  gave  an  exhortation.  We  had  very  warm  weather  and  a  long  ride. 
At  Major  Britain's,  near  the  mouth  of  Mills  river,  we  found  a  lodging." 

At  Elder  Davidson's. 

"Tuesday,  13.  We  came  in  haste  up  to  elder  Davidson's,  refreshed 
man  and  beast,  commended  the  family  to  God,  and  then  struck  into  the 
mountains.  The  want  of  sleep  and  other  inconveniences  made  me  unwell. 
We  came  down  Saluda  River,  near  Saluda  Mountain  :  it  tried  my  lame 
feet  and  old  feeble  joints.  French  Broad,  in  its  meanderings,  is  nearly 
two  hundred  miles  long;  the  line  of  its  course  is  semi-circular;  its  waters 
are  pure,  rapid,  and  its  bed  generally  rocky,  except  the  Blue  Ridge;  it 
passes  through  all  the  western  mountains. " 

At  William  Nelson's  at  Warm  Springs.     Again  in  No- 
vember, 1802,  we  find  this  entry: 

"Wednesday,  3.  We  labored  over  the  Ridge  and  the  Paint  Moun- 
tain :  I  held  on  awhile,  but  grew  afraid  of  this  mountain,  and  with  the 
help  of  a  pine  sapling  worked  my  way  down  the  steepest  and  roughest 
parts.  I  could  bless  God  for  life  and  limbs.  Eighteen  miles  this  day 
contented  us,  and  we  stopped  at  William  Nelson's,  Warm  Springs.  About 
thirty  travelers  having  dropped  in,  I  expounded  the  scriptures  to  them, 
as  found  in  the  third  chapter  of  Romans,  as  equally  applicable  to  nominal 
Christians,  Indians,  Jews,  and  Gentiles." 

Dinner  at  Barnett's  Station. 

"Thursday,  4.  We  came  off  about  the  rising  of  the  sun,  cold  enough. 
There  were  six  or  seven  heights  to  pass  over,  at  the  rate  of  five,  two  or 
one  mile  an  hour — as  this  ascent  or  descent  would  permit  :  four  hours 
brought  us  to  the  end  of  twelve  miles  to  dinner,  at  Barnett's  station; 
whence  we  pushed  on  to  John  (Thomas)  Foster's,  and  after  making 
twenty  miles  more,  came  in  about  the  going  down  of  the  sun.  On  Friday 
and  Saturday  we  visited  from  house  to  house." 

"Dear  William  McKendree." 

"Sunday,  7.  We  had  preaching  at  Killon's.  William  McKendree 
went  forward  upon  'as  many  as  are  led  by  the  Spirit  of  God,  they  are  the 
sons  of  God;'  my  subject  was  Heb.  iii,  12,  13.  On  Monday  I  parted 
from  dear  William  McKendree.  I  made  for  Mr.  Fletcher's,  upon  Mud 
creek;  he  received  me  with  great  attention,  and  the  kind  offer  of  every- 
thing in  the  house  necessary  for  the  comfort  of  man  and  beast.     We 


PIONEER  PREACHERS  219 

could  not  be  prevailed  on  to  tarry  for  the  night,  so  we  set  off  after  dinner 
and  he  accompanied  us  several  miles.  We  housed  for  the  night  at  the 
widow  Johnson's.  I  was  happy  to  find  that  in  the  space  of  two  years, 
God  had  manifested  his  goodness  and  his  power  in  the  hearts  of  many 
upon  the  solitary  banks  and  isolated  glades  of  French  Broad;  some  sub- 
jects of  grace  there  were  before,  amongst  Methodists,  Presbyterians  and 
Baptists.  On  Tuesday  I  dined  at  Benjamin  Davidson's,  a  house  I  had 
lodged  and  preached  at  two  years  ago.  We  labored  along  eighteen  miles, 
eight  ascent,  on  the  west  side,  and  as  many  on  the  east  side  of  the  moun- 
tain. The  descent  of  Saluda  exceeds  all  I  know,  from  the  Province  of 
Maine  to  Kentucky  and  Cumberland;  I  had  dreaded  it,  fearing  I  should 
not  be  able  to  walk  or  ride  such  steeps;  nevertheless,  with  time,  patience, 
labor,  two  sticks  and  above  all,  a  good  Providence  I  came  in  about  five 
o'clock  to  ancient  father  John  Douthat's,  Greenville  County,  South  Caro- 
lina." 

Again   at   Nelson's.     On   October,    1803,   we   meet   with 
this  entry: 

"North  Carolina.  On  Monday,  we  came  off  in  earnest;  refreshed  at 
Isaiah  Harrison's,  and  continued  on  to  the  Paint  Mountain,  passing  the 
gap  newly  made,  which  makes  the  road  down  to  Paint  Creek  much  bet- 
ter. I  lodged  with  Mr.  Nelson,  who  treated  me  like  a  minister,  a  Chris- 
tian and  a  gentleman." 

Ivy  Had  Been  Bridged  in  1803. 

"Tuesday,  25.  We  reached  Buncombe.  The  road  is  greatly  mended 
by  changing  the  direction,  and  throwing  a  bridge  over  Ivy." 

Sisters  Kilion  and  Smith  Dead. 

"Wednesday,  26.  We  called  a  meeting  at  Kilion's,  and  a  gracious 
season  it  was  :  my  subject  was  I  Cor.  xv,  38.  Sister  Kilion  and  Sister 
Smith,  sisters  in  the  flesh,  and  kindred  spirits  in  holiness  and  humble 
obedience,  are  both  gone  to  their  reward  in  glory.  On  Thursday  we 
came  away  in  haste,  crossed  Swamoat  (Swannanoa)  at  T.  Foster's,  the 
French  Broad  at  the  High  (Long)  Shoals,  and  afterwards  again  at  Beard's 
Bridge,  and  put  up  for  the  night  at  Andrew  Mitchell's  :  In  our  route 
we  passed  two  large  encamping  places  of  the  Methodists  and  Presby- 
terians :  it  made  country  look  like  the  Holy  Land." 

He  Escapes  from  Filth,  Fleas,  and  Rattlesnakes. 
"Friday,  28.  We  came  up  Little  River,  a  sister  stream  of  French 
Broad  :  it  offered  some  beautiful  flats  of  land.  We  found  a  new  road, 
lately  cut,  which  brought  us  in  at  the  head  of  Little  River  at  the  old 
fording  place,  and  within  hearing  of  the  falls,  a  few  miles  off  of  the  head 
of  Matthews  Creek,  a  branch  of  the  Saluda.  The  waters  foaming  clown 
the  rocks  with  a  descent  of  half  a  mile,  make  themselves  heard  at  a  great 
distance.  I  walked  down  the  mountain,  after  riding  sixteen  or  eighteen 
miles,  before  breakfast,  and  came  in  about  twelve  o'clock  to  father  John 
Douthat's;  once  more  I  have  escaped  from  filth,  fleas,  rattlesnakes,  hills, 
mountains,  rocks,  and  rivers;  farewell,  western  world,  for  awhile!" 


220        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

At  Fletcher's  on  Mud  Creek.  Again  in  October,  1805, 
we  find  the  following  entry: 

"North  Carolina.  We  came  into  North  Carolina  and  lodged  with 
Wm.  Nelson,  at  the  Hot  Springs.  Next  day  we  stopped  with  Wilson  in 
Buncombe.  On  Wednesday  I  breakfasted  with  Mr.  Newton,  Presby- 
terian minister,  a  man  after  my  own  mind  :  we  took  sweet  counsel  to- 
gether. We  lodged  this  evening  at  Mr.  Fletcher's,  Mud  Creek.  At 
Colonel  Thomas's,  on  Thursday,  we  were  kindly  received  and  hospitably 
entertained." 

Beds  a  Bench  and  Dirt  Floor  of  School  House.  Again 
in  September,  1806,  we  find  the  following  entry: 

"Wednesday,  24.  We  came  to  Buncombe  :  we  were  lost  within  a 
mile  of  Mr.  Killion's  (Killian's),  and  were  happy  to  get  a  school  house  to 
shelter  us  for  the  night.  I  had  no  fire,  but  a  bed  wherever  I  could  find 
a  bench;  my  aid,  Moses  Lawrence,  had  a  bear  skin  and  a  dirt  floor  to 
spread  it  on." 

His  Food  Brings  Back  His  Affliction. 
"Friday,  26.     My  affliction  returned:  considering  the  food,  the  labor, 
the  lodging,  the  hardships  I  meet  with  and  endure  it  is  not  wonderful. 
Thanks  be  to  God!  we  had  a  generous  rain — may  it  be  general  through 
the  settlement!" 

Camp  Meeting  on  Turkey  Creek. 

"Saturday,  27.  I  rode  twelve  miles  to  Turkey  Creek,  to  a  kind  of 
camp  meeting.  On  the  Sabbath,  I  preached  to  about  five  hundred  souls  : 
it  was  an  open  season  and  a  few  souls  professed  converting  grace." 

Rode  Through  Swanino  River. 

"Monday,  29.  Raining.  We  had  dry  weather  during  the  meeting. 
There  were  eleven  sermons  and  many  exhortations.  At  noon  it  cleared 
up,  and  gave  us  an  opportunity  of  riding  home  :  my  mind  enjoyed  peace, 
but  my  body  felt  the  effect  of  riding.  On  Tuesday  I  went  to  a  school 
house  to  preach:  I  rode  through  Swanino  River,  and  Cane  and  Hooper's 
Creeks." 

Little  and  Great  Hunger  Mountain. 

"North  Carolina,  Wednesday,  October  1.  I  preached  at  Samuel 
Edney's.  Next  day  we  had  to  cope  with  Little  and  Great  Hunger  moun- 
tains. Now  I  know  what  Mill's  Gap  is,  between  Buncombe  and  Ruther- 
ford. One  of  the  descents  is  like  the  roof  of  a  house,  for  nearly  a  mile: 
I  rode,  I  walked,  I  sweat,  I  trembled,  and  my  old  knees  failed;  here  are 
gulleys  and  rocks,  and  precipices;  nevertheless  the  way  is  as  good  as  the 
path  over  the  Table  Mountain — bad  is  the  best.  We  came  upon  Green 
River." 

Warm  Springs  in  1807.  Again  on  October,  1807,  we 
find  the  following  entry: 

"Friday  16.  We  reached  Wamping's  (Warm  Springs).  I  suffered 
much  today;  but  an  hour's  warm  bath  for  my  feet  relieved  me  consider- 
ably.    On  Saturday  we  rode  to  Killon's." 


PIONEER  PREACHERS  221 

George  Newton,  an  Israelite  Indeed. 
"North  Carolina,  Sabbath,  18.  At  Buncombe  courthouse  I  spoke 
from  2  Kings,  vii,  13-15.  The  people  were  all  attention.  I  spent  a 
night  under  the  roof  of  my  very  dear  brother  in  Christ,  George  Newton, 
a  Presbyterian  minister,  an  Israelite  indeed.  On  Monday  we  made 
Fletcher's;  next  day  dined  at  Terry's,  and  lodged  at  Edwards.  Saluda 
ferry  brought  us  up  on  Wednesday  evening." 

Labored  and  Suffered,  But  Lived  Near  God.    Again 
in  October,  1808,  we  find  the  following  entry: 

"On  Tuesday  we  rode  twenty  miles  to  the  Warm  Springs,  and  next 
day  reached  Buncombe,  thirty-two  miles.  The  right  way  to  improve  a 
short  day  is  to  stop  only  to  feed  the  horses,  and  let  the  riders  meanwhile 
take  a  bite  of  what  they  have  been  provident  enough  to  put  into  their 
pockets.  It  has  been  a  serious  October  to  me.  I  have  labored  and  suf- 
fered; but  I  have  lived  near  to  God." 

Mr.  Irwon  (Erwin),  A  Chief  Man. 

"North  Carolina,  Saturday,  29.  We  rested  for  three  days  past.  We 
fell  in  with  Jesse  Richardson  :  He  could  not  bear  to  see  the  fields  of 
Buncombe  deserted  by  militiamen,  who  fire  a  shot  and  fly,  and  wheel  and 
fire,  and  run  again ;  he  is  a  veteran  who  has  learned  to  'endure  hardness  like 
a  good  soldier  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ.'  On  the  Sunday  I  preached  in 
Buncombe  courthouse  upon  I  Thess.  i,  7-10.  I  lodged  with  a  chief  man, 
a  Mr.  Irwon.  Henry  Boehm  went  to  Pigeon  Creek  to  preach  to  the 
Dutch." 

Wootenpile  Asks  Pay  in  Prayer.     In  October,  1909,  we 
find: 

"We  crossed  the  French  Broad  and  fed  our  horses  at  the  gate  of  Mr. 
Wootenpile  (Hoodenpile) ;  he  would  accept  no  pay  but  prayer;  as  I  had 
never  called  before  he  may  have  thought  me  too  proud  to  stop.  Our 
way  now  lay  over  dreadful  roads.  I  found  old  Mr.  Barnett  sick — the 
case  was  a  dreadful  one,  and  I  gave  him  a  grain  of  tartar  and  a  few  com- 
posing drops,  which  procured  him  a  sound  sleep.  The  patient  was  very 
thankful  and  would  charge  us  nothing.  Here  are  martyrs  to  whiskey! 
I  delivered  my  own  soul.  Saturday  brought  us  to  Killion's.  Eight  times 
within  nine  years  I  have  crossed  these  Alps.  If  my  journal  is  transcribed 
it  will  be  as  well  to  give  the  subject  as  the  chapter  and  the  verse  of  the 
text  I  preached  from.  Nothing  like  a  sermon  can  I  record.  Here  now 
am  I  and  have  been  for  twenty  nights  crowded  by  people,  and  the  whole 
family  striving  to  get  round  me." 

James  Patton,  Rich,  Plain,  Humble,  Kind. 

"Sabbath,  29.  At  Buncombe  I  spoke  on  Luke  xiv,  10.  It  was  a 
season  of  attention  and  feeling.  We  dined  with  Mr.  Erwin  and  lodged 
with  James  Patton;  how  rich,  how  plain,  how  humble,  and  how  kind! 
There  was  a  sudden  change  in  the  weather  on  Monday;  we  went  as  far 
as  D.  Jay's.  Tuesday,  we  moved  in  haste  to  Mud  Creek,  Green  river 
cove,  on  the  other  side  of  Saluda." 


222        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

At  Vater  Shuck's  on  A  Winter's  Night.  Again,  in 
December,  1810,  we  find  the  following  entry: 

"At  Catahouche  (Catalouche)  I  walked  over  a  log.  But  O  the 
mountain — height  after  height,  and  five  miles  over!  After  crossing  other 
streams,  and  losing  ourselves  in  the  woods,  we  came  in,  about  nine  o'clock 
at  night,  to  Vater  Shuck's.  What  an  awful  day!  Saturday,  December 
1.  Last  night  I  was  strongly  afflicted  with  pain.  We  rode  twenty-five 
miles  to  Buncombe." 

George  Newton  Almost  A  Methodist. 

"North  Carolina,  Sabbath,  December  2.  Bishop  McKendree  and 
John  McGee  rose  at  five  o'clock  and  left  us  to  fill  an  appointment  about 
twenty-five  miles  off.  Myself  and  Henry  Boehm  went  to  Newton's 
academy,  where  I  preached.  Brother  Boehm  spoke  after  me;  and  Mr. 
Newton,  in  exhortation,  confirmed  what  was  said.  Had  I  known  and 
studied  my  congregation  for  a  year,  I  could  not  have  spoken  more  appro- 
priately to  their  particular  cases;  this  I  learned  from  those  who  knew 
them  well.  We  dined  with  Mr.  Newton.  He  is  almost  a  Methodist, 
and  reminds  me  of  dear  Whatcoat — the  same  placidness  and  solemnitj'. 
We  visited  James  Patton;  this  is,  perhaps,  the  last  visit  to  Buncombe." 

Speaking  "Faithfully. " 

"Monday.  It  was  my  province  today  to  speak  faithfully  to  a  cer- 
tain person.     May  she  feel  the  force  of,  and  profit  by  the  truth." 

The  Hoodenpile  Road  is  Open.  In  December,  1812,  we 
find  the  following: 

"Monday,  30.  We  stopped  at  Michael  Bollen's  on  our  route,  where 
I  gave  them  a  discourse  on  Luke,  xi,  11-13.  Why  should  we  climb  over 
the  desperate  Spring  and  Paint  mountain  when  there  is  such  a  fine  new 
road?  We  came  on  Tuesday  a  straight  course  to  Barratt's  (Barnett's), 
dining  in  the  woods  on  our  way." 

Back  Again  at  Killion's. 

"North  Carolina,  Wednesday,  December  2.  We  went  over  the  moun- 
tains, 22  miles,  to  Killion's." 

At  Samuel  Edney's  and  Father  Mills's. 

"Thursday,  3.  Came  on  through  Buncombe  to  Samuel  Edney's  :  I 
preached  in  the  evening.  We  have  had  plenty  of  rain  lately.  Friday,  I 
rest.  Occupied  in  reading  and  writing.  I  have  great  communion  with 
God.     I  preached  at  Father  Mills's." 

In  Great  Weakness.  Again,  in  November,  1813,  we 
meet  with  this  entry: 

"Sabbath,  24.  I  preached  in  great  weakness.  I  am  at  Killion's  once 
more.  Our  ride  of  ninety  miles  to  Staunton  bridge  on  Saluda  river  was 
severely  felt,  and  the  necessity  of  lodging  at  taverns  made  it  no  better." 

Valedictory  to  Presiding  Elders. 

"Friday,  29.  On  the  peaceful  banks  of  the  Saluda  I  write  my  vale- 
dictory address  to  the  presiding  elders." 


PIONEER  PREACHERS  223 

Killian's,  so  often  mentioned  with  different  spellings  in  the 
foregoing  extracts,  is  the  present  residence  of  Capt.  I.  C. 
Baird  on  Beaverdam.3  When  the  General  Conference  of 
the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  South,  met  at  Asheville  in 
May,  1910,  a  gavel  made  of  a  portion  of  the  banister  of  the 
old  Killian  home  was  presented  to  the  presiding  bishop. 

First  Church  in  the  Mountains.  According  to  Col.  W. 
L.  Bryan  of  Boone,  the  first  church  established  west  of  the 
Blue  Ridge  and  east  of  the  Smokies  was  at  what  is  still  called 
"  Three  Forks  of  New  river  in  what  is  now  Watauga  county, 
a  beautiful  spot."  It  was  organized  November  6,  1790.  The 
following  is  from  its  records:  "A  book  containing  (as  may  be 
seen)  in  the  covenant  and  conduct  of  the  Baptist  church  of 
Jesus  Christ  in  Wilkes  county,  .  .  .  New  River,  Three 
Forks  settlement"  by  the  following  members:  James  Tom- 
kins,  Richard  Greene  and  wife,  Daniel  Eggers  and  wife, 
William  Miller,  Elinor  Greene  and  B.  B.  Eggers.  "This  is 
the  mother  of  all  the  Baptist  churches  throughout  this  great 
mountain  region.  From  this  mother  church,  using  the  lan- 
guage of  these  old  pioneers,  they  established  'arms'  of  the 
mother  church;  one  at  what  is  now  known  as  the  Globe  in 
Caldwell  county,  another  to  the  westward,  known  as  Ebi- 
nezer,  one  to  the  northeast  named  South  Fork  .  .  .  and 
at  various  other  points.  Yet,  it  should  be  remembered  that 
the  attendance  upon  the  worship  of  the  mother  church  extended 
for  many,  many  miles,  reaching  into  Tennessee."  After 
these  "arms"  had  been  established  "there  was  organized 
Three  Forks  Baptist  association,  which  bears  the  name  to  this 
day,  and  is  the  oldest  and  most  venerated  religious  organiza- 
tion known  throughout  the  mountains.  Among  the  first 
pastors  of  the  mother  church  were  Rev.  Mr.  Barlow  of  Yadkin, 
George  McNeill  of  Wilkes,  John  G.  Bryan  who  died  in  Georgia 
at  the  age  of  98,  Nathaniel  Vannoy  of  Wilkes,  Richard  Gentry 
of  Old  Field,  Joseph  Harrison  of  Three  Forks,  Brazilla  Mc- 
Bride  and  Jacob  Greene  of  Cove  creek,  Reuben  Farthing,  A. 
C.  Farthing,  John  or  Jackie  Farthing,  Larkin  Hodges  and 
Rev.  William  Wilcox,  the  last  named  having  been  the  last  of  the 
Old  Patriarchs  of  this  noted  church  to  pass  away.  They 
were  all  farmers  and  worked  in  the  fields  for  their  daily  bread. 
To  the  above  list  should  be  added  Rev.  D.  C.  Harmon  of  Lower 
Cove  creek,  Rev.  D.  C.  Harmon,  Rev.  Smith  Ferguson,  who, 


224        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

though  they  have  been  gone  for  many  years,  yet  speak  to 
some  of  those  left  behind."4 

Prominent  Pioneer  Religious  Teachers.5  Among  these 
were  "  Richard  Gentry,  Aaron  Johnson,  William  Baldwin, 
Richard  Jacks,  David  Smith,  all  of  whom  were  Baptists  favoring 
missions;  and  among  the  Methodists  were  James  Wagg,  Samuel 
Plumer,  A.  B.  Cox  and  Hiram  and  Elihu  Weaver. " 

Rev.  Humphrey  Posey.  Of  this  good  man  Col.  Allen  T. 
Davidson  says  in  The  Lyceum  for  January,  1891,  p.  11,  that 
James  Whittaker  of  Cherokee  "and  the  Rev.  Humphrey 
Posey  established  the  leading  (Baptist)  churches  in  this  upland 
country,  to  wit:  Cane  creek,  in  Buncombe  county,  and 
Locust  Old  Field  in  Haywood  county,  where  the  friends  of 
these  two  men  have  worshipped  ever  since.  .  .  .  There 
they  stand,  monuments  to  the  memory  of  these  pioneers.  .  .  . 
Perhaps  the  most  remarkable  man  in  this  up-country  was 
Rev.  Humphrey  Posey,  who  was  born  in  Henry  county,  Va., 
January  12,  1780,  was  brought  to  Burke  when  only  five  years 
old  and  remained  there  until  he  reached  manhood,  was  ordained 
a  minister  at  Cane  creek  church  in  1806.  About  1820  he 
established  a  mission  school  at  what  is  now  known  as  the 
Mission  Place  on  the  Hiwassee  river,  seven  miles  above  Mur- 
phy. He  removed  to  Georgia  in  1784,  and  died  at  Newman, 
Ga.,  28  December,  1846.  He  was  a  man  greatly  endowed  by 
nature  to  be  a  leader,  of  great  physical  force,  with  a  profile 
much  like  that  of  the  Hon.  Tom  Corwin  of  Ohio.  He  had  a 
fine  voice  and  manner,  was  singularly  and  simply  eloquent.  .  .  . 
In  fact,  by  nature,  he  was  a  great  man,  and  "his  works  do  fol- 
low him."  The  effect  of  his  mission  schools  have  been  seen 
for  many  years  past,  and  many  citizens  of  Indian  blood  are 
left  to  tell  the  tale.  The  Stradley  brothers  of  Asheville 
were  two  other  pioneer  Baptist  preachers  of  note.  They  had 
been  in  the  Battle  of  Waterloo  as  members  of  Wellington's 
army  before  emigrating  to  America.  Their  record  is  known 
of  all  men  in  Buncombe  county,  and  a  long  line  of  worthy 
descendants  attest  the  sturdy  character  of  the  parent  stock. 

Rev.  Branch  Hamline  Merrimon.  He  was  born  in  Din- 
widdle county,  Va.,  February  22,  1802,  and  moved  with  his 
parents  as  far  as  Rogersville,  Tenn.,  on  their  way  to  the  Great 
West,  when  one  member  of  the  family  becoming  too  ill  to 
travel  further,  they  stopped  there  permanently.     He  joined 


PIONEER  PREACHERS  225 

the  Methodist  Conference  at  Knoxville  in  1824  and  became 
an  itinerant  Methodist  preacher,  being  assigned  to  this  sec- 
tion. In  1829  he  married  Mary  E.  Paxton,  a  daughter  of 
William  Paxton  and  his  wife  Sarah  McDowell,  a  sister  of 
Gen.  Charles  McDowell  of  Revolutionary  fame.  William 
Paxton  was  born  in  Roxbridge  county,  Va.,  and  came  to 
Burke  county,  where  at  Quaker  Meadows  he  married  his 
wife.  William  Paxton  and  wife  then  moved  to  the  Cherry 
Fields  in  what  is  now  Transylvania  county,  where  they  bought 
and  improved  a  large  tract  of  fertile  land,  whither  Mr.  Mer- 
rimon  and  his  wife  followed.  William  Paxton  was  a  brother 
of  Judge  John  Paxton  of  Morganton,  a  Superior  court  judge 
from  1818  to  1826.  He  was  also  a  near  kinsman  of  Judge 
John  Hall,  a  member  of  the  first  Supreme  court  of  this  State. 
Mr.  Merrimon  died  at  Asheville  in  November,  1886,  leaving 
seven  sons  and  three  daughters.  Chief  Justice  A.  S.  Merrimon 
was  one  of  his  sons,  and  Ex-Judge  J.  H.  Merrimon  of  Asheville 
is  another.  Rev.  Mr.  Merrimon  was  a  staunch  Union  man 
during  the  Civil  War. 

The  late  Rev.  J.  'S.  Burnett  was  another  pioneer  Methodist 
preacher  of  prominence. 

United  They  Stood.  "It  is  a  striking  fact  in  the  char- 
acter of  this  primitive  people,"  says  Col.  A.  T.  Davidson 
in  The  Lyceum  for  January  1891,  "that  they  were  entirely 
devoted  to  each  other,  clannish  in  the  extreme;  and  when 
affliction,  sorrow,  trouble,  vexation,  or  offence  came  to  one 
it  came  to  all.  It  was  like  a  bee-hive — always  some  one  on 
guard,  and  all  affected  by  the  attack  from  without.  They 
were  the  constant  attendants  around  the  bed  of  the  sick; 
suffered  with  the  suffering,  wept  with  those  who  wept,  and 
attended  all  the  funerals  without  reward,  it  never  having  been 
known  that  a  coffin  was  charged  for,  or  the  digging  of  a  grave 
for  many  long  years.  Is  it  a  fact  that  these  men  were  better 
than  those  of  the  present  day,  or  does  it' only  exist  in  my 
imagination?  When  I  look  back  to  them  I  think  that  they 
were  the  best  men  I  ever  knew;  and  the  dear  old  mothers 
of  these  humble  people  are  now  strikingly  engraved  upon  my 
memory.  The  men  rolled  each  others'  logs  in  common;  they 
gathered  their  harvests,  built  their  cabins,  and  all  work  of  a 
heavy  character  was  done  in  common  and  without  price. 
The  log  meeting-house  was  reared  in  the  same  way,  and  it  is 

W.N.C.-15 


226        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

a  fact  that  this  was  done  promptly,  without  hesitation — regard- 
less of  creeds  or  sect — all  coming  together  with  a  will.  The 
Baptists,  "rifle,  axe  and  saddle-bag  men,"  or  the  Methodist 
"circuit  rider"  supplied  the  people  with  the  ministry  of  the 
word;  and  it  is  pleasant  to  look  back  and  reflect  upon  the 
enjoyment  and  comfort  these  humble  people  had  in  the  admin- 
istration by  these  humble  ministers  in  the  long-ago.  Then 
they  came  together  and  held  what  they  called  "union  meet- 
ings," under  arbors  made  with  poles  and  brush,  or,  at  the 
private  residence  of  some  good  citizen — often  at  my  father's. 
I  remember  distinctly  that  Nathaniel  Gibson,  of  Crabtree 
creek,  converted  the  top  story  of  his  mill  house  into  one  of 
these  places  of  worship;  and  Jacob  Shook,  on  Pigeon,  the 
father  of  the  family  near  Clyde,  turned  his  threshing  floor, 
in  his  barn,  into  a  place  of  worship ;  and  near  this  was  established 
about  1827  or  1828,  Shook's  Camp  Ground.  The  good  old 
Dutchman  contributed  or  donated  to  the  church  ten  acres 
of  land,  which  have  ever  been  kept  for  a  place  of  public  wor- 
ship. 

Rev.  Wm.  G.  Brownlow.6  In  the  year  1832  Rev.  Wm. 
G.  Brownlow,  a  Methodist  minister,  afterwards  better  known 
as  Parson  Brownlow  and  Governor  of  Tennessee,  served  as 
pastor  of  the  Franklin  circuit  in  Macon  county.  These  were 
the  days  of  intense  religious  prejudices  and  denominational 
controversies.  Rev.  Humphrey  Posey,  a  kinsman  of  the  late 
Ben.  Posey,  Esq.,  was  at  that  time  the  leading  minister  of 
the  Baptist  church  in  this  section. 

"It  was  impossible  for  men  of  the  type  of  Brownlow  and  Posey  to 
long  remain  in  the  same  community  without  becoming  involved  in  con- 
troversy. Nor  did  they.  From  denominational  discussions  their  con- 
troversy degenerated  into  matters  personal,  a  personal  quarrel.  Brown- 
low, as  is  well  known,  was  a  master  of  invective  and  his  pen  was  dipped 
in  vitriol.  On  July  23,  1832,  he  wrote  Rev.  Posey  a  24-page  letter  which 
is  still  on  file  among  the  records  of  Macon  court  and  which  that  gentle- 
man regarded  as  libelous.  He  thereupon  indicted  parson  Brownlow,  as 
appears  from  the  court  records.  The  first  bill  was  found  at  fall  term 
1832.  It  is  signed  by  J.  Roberts,  solicitor  pro  tern..,  and  seems  to  have 
been  quashed;  at  any  rate  a  new  bill  was  sent  and  the  case  tried  at  spring 
term  1833.  Wm.  J.  Alexander  was  the  solicitor  when  the  case  was  tried. 
The  defendant  pleaded  not  guilty  but  was  found  guilty  by  the  jury, 
whether  upon  the  ground  that  the  "greater  the  truth  the  greater  the 
libel"  or  not  does  not  appear.  He  was  sentenced  to  pay  a  fine  and  the 
costs.     The  amount  of  the  fine  was  not  given  but  the  record  discloses 


PIONEER  PREACHERS  227 

that  it  was  paid  by  J.  R.  Siler,  one  of  the  leading  citizens  and  original 
settlers,  and  a  prominent  member  of  the  Methodist  church.  Execution 
issued  for  the  costs  and  the  return  shows  that  on  July  1,  1833,  the  sheriff 
'levied  on  dun  mare,  bridle,  saddle  and  saddle  bags.  Sold  for  $65.50. 
Proceeds  into  office  $53.83.' 

"There  is  a  generally  accredited  story  to  the  effect  that  when  the 
sheriff  went  to  levy  on  the  Parson's  horse,  Brownlow  was  just  closing  a 
preaching  service  at  Mt.  Zion  church — that  he  saw  the  sheriff  approach- 
ing and  knew  the  purpose  of  his  coming,  and  before  the  sheriff  came  up 
Brownlow  handed  his  Bible  to  one  lady  member  of  his  congregation  and 
his  hymn  book  to  another  and  that  these  books  are  still  in  the  families 
of  the  descendants  of  these  ladies.  It  is  also  said  that  when  Brownlow 
started  to  conference  that  fall,  J.  R.  Siler  made  him  a  present  of  another 
horse  in  lieu  of  the  one  that  had  been  sold." 

William  Gunnaway  Brownlow  was  born  in  Virginia  in 
1805,  and  became  a  carpenter  first  and  then  a  Methodist 
preacher.  In  1828  he  moved  to  Tennessee  and  in  1839  became 
a  local  preacher  at  Jonesboro  and  editor  of  The  Whig,  but  moved 
to  Knoxville,  taking  The  Whig  with  him  and  continued  its 
publication  till  the  beginning  of  the  Civil  war.  He  preached 
many  sermons  defending  slavery,  and  was  defeated  by  Andrew 
Johnson  for  Congress  in  1843.  He  wrote  several  books,  the 
most  famous  of  which  was  called  Parson  Brownlow's  Book, 
in  which  he  gave  his  unpleasant  experiences  with  the  Con- 
federates and  his  views  on  secession  and  the  Civil  War.  He 
was  a  member  of  the  convention  which  revised  the  constitu- 
tion of  Tennessee  in  1865,  and  was  elected  governor  in  1865, 
and  again  in  1867.  He  was  sent  to  the  United  States  senate 
in  1869  where  he  remained  till  1875.  He  died  at  Knoxville 
in  April,  1877.7 

Canario  Drayton  Smith.8  He  was  a  son  of  Samuel  and 
Mary  Smith,  and  was  born  in  Buncombe  April  1,  1813.  His 
grandfather,  Joseph  Smith,  was  born  on  the  eastern  shore  of 
Maryland,  April  1,  1730,  and  his  grandmother,  Rebecca 
Dath  (Welch),  was  born  near  the  same  place  on  April  1,  1739. 
In  1765  they  moved  to  North  Carolina,  and  on  the  journey 
C.  D.  Smith's  father  was  born  at  a  public  inn  in  Albemarle 
county,  Va.,  August  20,  1765.  They  first  settled  at  Haw- 
fields  in  Guilford  county,  where  they  were  living  when  the 
battle  was  fought  in  1780.  His  maternal  grandfather,  Daniel 
Jarrett,  was  born  in  Lancaster  county,  Pa.,  December  18, 
1747.  He  was  of  English  blood.  His  grandmother  Jarrett, 
whose  maiden  name  was  Catharine  C.  Moyers,  was  born  in 


228         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Lancaster  county,  Pa.,  February  9,  1753.  She  was  a  German 
woman.  They  were  married  October  25,  1772,  moving  to 
North  Carolina  shortly  afterwards  and  settling  in  Cabarrus, 
where  his  mother,  Mary  Jarrett,  was  born  June  23,  1775. 
Soon  after  the  close  of  hostilities  between  the  Cherokees  and 
whites  they  moved  to  Buncombe  county,  where  in  1796  his 
father  and  mother  were  married.  They  moved  to  Macon 
in  the  winter  of  1819-20.  At  the  sale  of  the  Cherokee  lands 
at  Waynesville  in  September,  1820,  his  father  bought  the 
land  known  as  the  Tessentee  towns,  now  Smith's  Bridge, 
where  C.  D.  Smith  was  reared  to  manhood.  He  attended 
the  subscription  schools  of  the  neighborhood,  and  in  1832 
went  to  Caney  river,  then  in  Buncombe,  now  in  Yancey,  to 
clerk  for  Smith  &  McElroy,  merchants,  where  he  spent  five 
years,  buying  ginseng  principally,  getting  in  in  1837  over 
86,000  pounds  which  yielded  25,000  pounds  of  choice  clarified 
root,  which  was  barreled  and  shipped  to  Lucas  &  Heylin, 
Philadelphia,  and  thence  to  China.  In  the  meantime  Yancey 
had  been  created  a  county  and  John  W.  McElroy  had  been 
elected  first  clerk  of  the  Superior  court,  making  C.  D.  Smith 
his  deputy.  At  a  camp  meeting  held  at  Caney  River  Camp 
Ground  in  1836,  by  Charles  K.  Lewis,  preacher  in  charge,  of 
the  Black  Mountain  circuit,  he  was  converted  and  joined  the 
church.  At  the  quarterly  conference  at  Alexander  chapel  the 
following  June  he  was  licensed  to  preach  by  Thos.  W.  Catlett, 
presiding  elder.  He  continued  to  preach  till  1850  when  he 
went  on  the  supernumerary  list  on  account  of  bad  health.  In 
1853  he  became  agent  for  the  American  Colonization  Society 
for  Tennessee  and  sent  to  Liberia  two  families  of  emancipated 
negroes.  In  1854  he  became  interested  in  mineralogy,  and 
continued  this  study  of  mineralogy  and  geology  till  his  death. 
He  was  assistant  State  Geologist  under  Prof.  Emmons  and 
a  co-worker  with  Prof.  Kerr.  He  is  mentioned  in  Dr.  R.  N. 
Price's  works  on  Methodism,  and  has  an  article  in  Kerr's 
Geology  of  North  Carolina.     He  died  in  1894. 


'"The  Despot  of  Broomsedge  Cove,"  by  Mary  N.  Murfree. 
2Asheville's  Centenary. 
'Reference  is  to  1898. 

4From  "A  Primitive  History  of  the  Mountain  Region,"  by  Col.  W.  L.  Bryan. 
5Facts  Furnished  by  Hon.  A.  H.  Eller  of  Ashe  county,  1912. 
sBy  Fred  S.  Johnston,  Esq.,  of  Franklin,  N.  C. 
'McGee,  p.  173. 

8From  the  "Autobiography  of  Dr.  C.  D.  Smith,"  and  statements  of  Henry  G.  Robert- 
eon,  Esq. 


CHAPTER  X 

ROADS,  STAGE  COACHES,  AND  TAVERNS 

[-Buffalo    Trails    and    Trading    Paths.     It    is    probable 
that  buffaloes  made  the  first  roads  over  these  mountains,  and 
that  the  Indians,  following  where  they  led,  made  their  trading 
paths  by  pursuing  these  highways.     It  is  still  more  probable 
that  the  buffaloes  instinctively  sought  the  ways  that  were  lev- 
elest  and  shortest  between  the  best  pastures,  thus  insuring  a 
passage  through  the  lowest  gaps  and  to  the  richest  lands.     The 
same  applies  to  deer,  bear  and  other  wild  animals — they  wanted 
to  go  by  the  easiest  routes  and  to  the  countries  which  afforded 
the  best  support.     It  is  still  said  in  the  mountains  that  when 
the  first  settlers  wanted  to  build  a  new  road  they  drove  a 
steer  or  "cow-brute"  to  the  lowest  gap  in  sight  and  then  drove 
it  down  on  the  side  the  road  was  to  be  located,  the  tracks  made 
by  it  being  followed  and  staked  and  the  road  located  exactly 
on  them.     The  fact  that  John  Strother  mentions  no  trading 
paths  in  the  1799  survey  simply  indicates  that  the  Indians 
had  not  used  them  for  years  in  the  territory  north  of  the  ridge 
between  the  Nollechucky  and  the  French  Broad.     No  doubt 
there  had  been  trading  paths  until  the  whites  came  to  inter- 
rupt   their    passage    over    the    mountains.     But    Davenport 
mentions  crossing  several  on  the  1821  survey,  viz.:  the  Cata- 
loochee  track  at  the  mouth  of  Big  creek,  "the  Equeneetly  path 
to  Cades  cove"  at  the  head  of  Eagle  creek,  and  at  the  60th 
mile  from  Pigeon  river,  in  "a  low  gap  at  the  path  of  Eque- 
neetly to  Tallassee. "     Seven  miles  further  on  they  came  to 
another  trading  path  of  Cheogee  (Cheoah)  now  known  as  the 
Belding  trail.     At  the  ninety-third  mile  they  reached  "the 
trading  path  leading  from  the  Valley  Towns  to  the  Overhill 
Settlements"  and  reaching  the  ninety-fifth  mile  on  the  path 
before  they  paused.      On  August  24th  they  passed  the  white 
oak,  96th  mile,  on  top  of  the  Unicoi  mountain,  and  on  the  same 
day  reached  the  "hickory  and  rock  at  the  wagon  road,  the 
101st  mile,  at  the  end  of  the  Unicoi  mountain." 

Hard  Roads  to  Build  as  Well  as  to  Travel.     Powder 
was  scarce  and  tools  were  wanting  for  the  construction  of 

(229) 


230        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

roads  in  the  early  days.  Dynamite  and  blasting  powder  were 
then  unknown.  Ridges  offered  least  resistence  to  the  con- 
struction of  a  roadway  because  the  timber  on  their  crests 
was  light  and  scattered  and  because,  principal  consideration, 
they  were  generally  level  enough  on  top  to  allow  wagon  wheels 
to  pass  up  or  down  them.  But  they  were  frequently  too 
steep  even  for  the  overtaxed  oxen  and  horses  of  that  time.1 
The  level  places  along  creeks  and  rivers  were  the  next  places 
where  roads  could  be  built  with  least  labor;  but  these  were 
always  subject  to  overflow;  and  cliffs  shutting  in  on  one  side 
always  forced  the  road  to  cross  the  stream  to  get  lodgment  on 
the  opposite  bank.  Sometimes  there  were  cliffs  on  both  sides 
of  the  stream,  and  then  the  road  had  to  run  up  the  nearest 
"hollow"  or  cove  to  the  head  of  the  branch  flowing  in  it  and 
across  the  gap  down  another  branch  or  brook  to  the  stream 
from  which  the  road  had  just  parted  company.  When  there 
was  no  escape  from  it,  "side-cutting"  was  resorted  to;  but  as 
it  took  a  longer  road  to  go  by  a  gentle  grade  than  by  a  steep 
climb,  the  steeper  road  was  invariably  built. 

"Navigating  Wagons."  James  M.  Edney,  in  his  Sketches 
of  Buncombe  Men  in  Bennett's  Chronology  of  North  Carolina, 
written  in  1855,  says: 

"Col.  J.  Barnett  settled  on  French  Broad  seventy  years  ago,  and  was 
the  first  man  to  pilot  or  navigate  wagons  through  Buncombe  by  putting 
the  two  big  wheels  on  the  lower  side,  sometimes  pulling,  sometimes  push- 
ing, and  sometimes  carrying  the  wagon,  at  a  charge  of  five  dollars  for 
work  and  labor  done.  "2 

The  First  Road  Builders.  "Most  of  the  work  done  at 
the  earlier  sessions  of  the  county  court  of  Buncombe  related 
to  laying  out  and  working  roads.  These  roads  or  trails,  rude 
and  rough,  narrow  and  steep  as  they  were,  constituted  the 
only  means  of  communication  between  the  scattered  settlers 
of  this  new  country,  and  were  matters  of  first  importance  to  its 
people.  They  were  located  by  unlettered  hunters  and  farmers, 
who  knew  nothing  of  civil  engineering,  and  were  opened  by 
their  labor,  and  could  ill  afford  to  spare  time  from  the  support 
and  protection  of  their  families.  Roving  bands  of  Indians 
constantly  gave  annoyance  to  the  white  settlers,  and  frequently 
where  they  found  the  master  of  the  house  absent,  would 
frighten  the  women  and  children  into  taking  refuge  in  the 
woods,  and  then  burn  the  furniture  and  destroy  the  bedding 


ROADS,  STAGE  COACHES  AND  TAVERNS    231 

which  they  found  in  the  house.  Many  were  the  privations 
incident  to  a  life  in  a  new  country  suffered  by  these  early  set- 
lers,  and  many  were  the  hardships  which  they  underwent  at 
the  hands  of  these  predatory  savages.  We  can  scarcely 
wonder  that  they  saw  in  the  red  man  none  of  the  romantic 
feature  of  character  which  their  descendants  are  so  fond  of 
attributing  to  him.  This  state  of  affairs  continued  even  up 
into  the  present  century.3 

The  Hard,  Unyielding  Rocks.  Whenever  rock  ledges 
and  cliffs  were  encountered  our  road-builders  usually  "took 
to  the  woods."  That  is,  they  went  as  far  around  them  as 
was  necessary  in  order  to  avoid  them.  But,  in  some  cases,  they 
had  to  be  removed;  and  then  holes  were  drilled  by  driv- 
ing steel-tipped  bars  with  sledge-hammers  as  far  as  practi- 
cable, which  was  rarely  over  two  feet  in  depth.  Into  these 
gunpowder  costing  fifty  cents  per  pound  was  poured,  and  a 
hollow  reed  or  elder  tubes  filled  with  powder  were  thrust,  and 
the  earth  tamped  around  these.  A  line  of  leaves  or  straw  was 
laid  on  the  ground  a  dozen  feet  or  more  from  the  tube,  and 
slowly  burnt  its  way  to  the  powder.  It  was  a  slow  and  inef- 
fective method,  and  too  expensive  to  be  much  used.  Another 
and  cheaper  way  was  to  build  log  heaps  on  top  of  the  ledge 
of  rock  and  allow  them  to  burn  till  the  rock  was  well  heated, 
when  buckets  and  barrels  of  water  were  quickly  poured  on  the 
rock  after  removing  the  fire,  which  split  the  rock  and  permitted 
its  being  quarried. 

Stage-Coach  Customs.  In  old  times  there  were  no  reserved 
seats  on  stage  coaches — first  come,  first  served,  being  the 
rule.  This  resulted,  oftentimes,  in  grumbling  and  disputes, 
but  as  a  rule  all  submitted  with  good  grace,  the  selfish  and 
pushing  getting  the  choice  places  then  as  now.  Three  pas- 
sengers on  each  seat  were  insisted  on  in  all  nine  passenger 
coaches,  and  woe  to  that  poor  wight  who  had  to  take  the 
middle  of  the  front  seat  and  ride  backwards.  Seasickness 
usually  overcame  him,  but  there  was  no  redress,  unless  some- 
one volunteered  to  change  seats.  In  dry  and  pleasant  weather, 
many  preferred  a  seat  with  the  driver  or  on  the  roof  behind 
him.  Many  pleasant  acquaintances  were  made  on  stage  coach 
journeys,  and  sometimes  friendships  and  marriages  resulted. 
Stages  were  never  robbed  in  these  mountains,  however,  as 
Murrell  and  his  band  usually  transacted  their  affairs  further 


232        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

west.  Heated  stones  wrapped  in  rugs  and  blankets  were 
sometimes  taken  by  ladies  during  cold  weather  to  keep  their 
feet  warm. 

Old  Taverns.  Whenever  there  was  a  change  of  horses, 
which  usually  happened  at  or  near  a  tavern  or  inn,  the  pas- 
sengers would  get  out  and  visit  the  "grocery,"  either  to  get 
warm  inside  or  outside,  frequently  on  both  sides.  Then, 
they  would  walk  ahead  and  be  taken  up  when  the  coach  over- 
took them.  When  meals  were  to  be  taken  there  was  a  rush 
for  the  "washing  place,"  usually  provided  with  several  buck- 
ets of  cold  spring  water  and  tin  basins,  with  roller  towels. 
Then  the  rush  for  the  dining  room  and  the  well-cooked  food 
served  there.  Most  of  these  meals  were  prepared  on  open 
hearths  before  glowing  beds  of  coals,  in  wide  fire-places  whose 
stone  hearths  frequently  extended  half  across  the  kitchen  floor. 
But  riding  at  night  grew  very  monotonous,  and  when  possible 
the  ladies  remained  at  these  taverns  over  night,  resuming 
their  journeys  in  the  morning. 

First  Roads.  Boone's  trail  across  the  mountains  in  1769 
was  the  first  of  which  there  is  any  record,  and  that  seems  to 
be  in  dispute  (see  Chapter  "Daniel  Boone.").  The  next  one 
was  that  followed  by  James  Robertson  and  the  sixteen  fam- 
ilies who  left  Wake  county  after  Alamance  and  found  their 
way  to  the  Watauga  settlement  in  Tennessee.  They  prob- 
ably followed  the  Catawba  to  its  head,  crossing  at  the 
McKinney  gap,  and  followed  Bright's  trace  over  the  Yellow 
and  thence  down  to  the  Doe  and  so  on  to  the  Watauga  at 
Elizabethton.4  McGee  says:  "When  the  Watauga  set- 
tlement became  Washington  county,  in  1778,  a  wagon  road 
was  opened  across  the  mountains  into  the  settled  parts  of 
North  Carolina  .  .  .  and  in  1779  .  .  .  Washing- 
ton county  was  divided  into  .  .  .  Sullivan,  etc."5 
The  Act  of  Cession,  1789,  calls  for  the  top  of  the  Yellow  moun- 
tain where  "Bright's  road  crosses  the  same,  thence  along  the 
ridge  of  said  mountain  between  the  waters  of  Doe  river  and 
the  waters  of  Rock  creek  to  the  place  where  the  road  crosses 
the  Iron  mountain";  and  John  Strother,  in  his  diary  of  the 
survey  of  1799  between  North  Carolina  and  Tennessee,  men- 
tions that  the  surveying  party  crossed  "the  road  leading  from 
Morganton  to  Jonesborough  on  Thursday,  June  6,  1799." 
This  road  was  north  of  the  Toe  or  Nollechucky  river  and  between 


ROADS,  STAGE  COACHES  AND  TAVERNS     233 

it  and  the  Bright  road  over  the  Yellow;  but,  as  there  are  now 
two  roads  crossing  between  those  points,  it  is  important  to 
ascertain  which  is  the  one  opened  in  1778,  as  that,  undoubtedly, 
was  the  first  wagon  road  crossing  the  mountains.  Chancellor 
John  Allison  speaks  of  Andrew  Jackson  crossing  this  road 
from  Morganton  to  Jonesborough,  Tenn.,  in  the  spring  of 
1788,  as  early  "as  the  melting  snow  and  ice  made  such  a  trip 
over  the  Appalachians  possible."6  It  was  "more  than  one 
hundred  miles,  two-thirds  of  which,  at  that  time,  was  without 
a  single  human  habitation  along  its  course."  Practically  all 
histories  claim  that  Sevier  and  his  men  passed  over  the  Bright 
Trace  over  the  Yellow;  but  Col.  W.  L.  Bryan  of  Boone,  N.  C, 
says  that  Sevier  and  his  men  passed  through  what  is  now 
known  as  the  Carver  gap,  southwest  of  the  Roan,  and  down 
Big  Rock  creek.7  And  it  does  seem  more  probable  that  his 
men  would  have  followed  the  wagon  road,  which  Historian 
McGee  says  had  been  opened  in  1778,  from  Sycamore  Shoals, 
than  a  trail  which  must  have  taken  them  considerably  further 
north  than  a  road  nearer  the  Nollechucky  river  would  have 
been.  But  all  these  dates  referring  to  that  road  were  prior 
to  the  passing  of  the  first  wagon  from  North  Carolina  into 
Tennessee,  mentioned  in  Wheeler 's  History  of  North  Carolina 
as  occurring  in  1795.8  Indeed,  John  Strother  mentions 
another  "road"  at  a  low  gap  between  the  waters  of  Cove  creek 
(in  what  is  now  Watauga  county)  and  Roan  creek  (in  what  is 
now  Johnson  county,  Tenn.) ;  but  the  road  over  which  the  first 
wagon  passed  into  Tennessee  in  1795  was  probably  the  one 
Bishop  Asbury  traveled  from  1800  to  October,  1803,  over 
Paint  mountain  to  Warm  Springs;  and  was  not  the  road  on 
the  left  side  of  the  river  leading  down  to  the  mouth  of  Wolf 
creek.  This  road  is  a  mile  and  a  half  southwest  of  Paint 
Rock.  Probably  no  road  at  that  time  followed  the  river 
bank  there.  It  is  certain,  however,  that  in  1812  Hoodenpile 
had  charge  of  a  road  from  Warm  Springs  to  Newport,  Tenn., 
and  was  under  contract  to  keep  it  in  repair  from  the  "top  of 
Hopewell  Hill  (now  Stackhouse)  to  the  Tennessee  line."9 
William  Gillett  had  built  it  from  Old  Newport,  Tenn.,  to  the 
North  Carolina  line.10  It  was  on  the  right  bank  all  the  way. 
The  Love  road  leaves  the  river  six  miles  below  the  Hot  Springs 
at  the  Hale  Neilson  house  and  joins  main  road  12  miles  from 
Greenville,  Tenn. 


234        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Path  Crossing  the  Unaker  Mountain.11  John  Strother 
tells  us  that  about  the  13th  of  May,  1799,  they  came  "to  the 
path  crossing  from  Hollow  Poplar  to  the  Greasy  Cove  and 
met  our  companj^. "  But  what  kind  of  a  path  that  was  he 
does  not  say.  It  was  probably  the  road  through  the  Indian 
Grave  Gap,  near  the  buffalo  trail.  For  they  were  close  to 
the  Nollechucky  river  then,  and  Bishop  Asbury's  Journal 
records  the  fact  that  on  Thursday,  November  6,  1800,  he 
crossed  Nollechucky  at  Querton's  Ferry,  and  came  to  Major 
Gragg's,  18  miles,  arriving  at  Warm  Springs  next  day.  ■  This 
road  crossed  the  Small  and  the  Great  Paint  mountains,  for  he 
mentions  an  accident  that  befell  his  horse  after  crossing  both. 
This  most  probably  was  the  road  over  which  the  first  wagon 
passed  in  1795  as  recorded  in  Wheeler's  history.  In  November 
1802,  the  good  Bishop  "grew  afraid"  of  Paint  nountain  "and 
with  the  help  of  a  pine  sapling  worked  my  way  down  the 
steepest  and  roughest  parts,"  on  his  way  to  Warm  Springs 
where,  at  William  Nelson's,  he  found  that  thirty  travelers 
had  "dropped  in,"  and  where  he  expounded  to  them  the 
scripture  as  found  in  the  "third  chapter  of  Romans  as  equally 
applicable  to  nominal  Christians,  Indians,  Jews  and  Gen- 
tiles."12 

What  New  Road  Was  This?  In  October,  1803,  he  con- 
tinued to  Paint  mountain  "passing  the  gap  newly  made,  which 
makes  the  road  down  Paint  creek  much  better. " 

The  Hoodenpyle  Road.  In  December  1812,  Bishop 
Asbury  asks  "Why  should  we  climb  over  the  desperate  Spring 
and  Paint  mountains  when  there  is  such  a  fine  new  road?  We 
came  on  Tuesday  a  straight  course  to  Barrett's  (Barnett's) 
dining  in  the  woods  on  our  way."  This  must  have  been  the 
Hoodenpyle  road  from  Warm  Springs  to  Newport,  Tenn., 
which  he  was  under  contract  to  keep  in  order  from  Hopewell 
Hill  to  the  Tennessee  line.  This  road  follows  Paint  creek 
one  mile  and  then  crosses  the  mountains.13  He  moved  to 
Huntsville  Landing  on  the  Tennessee  river  in  the  territory 
of  Mississippi,  where  John  Welch  of  Haywood,  agreed  to 
deliver  to  him  on  or  before  the  first  of  May,  1813,  2,667  gallons 
of  "good  proof  whiskey";  and  on  or  before  14  of  August, 
1814,  1,500  gallons  of  the  same  gloom-dispelling  elixir,  for 
value  received.  No  wonder  Philip  Hoodenpile  could  play 
the  fiddle  with  his  left  hand!14 


ROADS,  STAGE  COACHES  AND  TAVERNS     235 

Swannanoa  Gap  Trail.  This,  doubtless,  was  the  first 
road  into  Buncombe  from  the  east,  and  led  from  Old  Fort  in 
McDowell  county  to  the  head  of  the  Swannanoa  river  and 
Bee  Tree  creek  where  the  first  settlers  stopped  about  1782. 
How  long  after  this  it  was  before  a  wagon  road  was  built 
through  this  gap  does  not  appear;  but  it  is  recorded  that  the 
Bairds  brought  their  first  wagon  through  Saluda  gap,  some 
miles  to  the  southwest,  in  1793.  Even  that,  however,  at 
that  date  was  probably  only  a  very  poor  wagon  road.  But 
a  wagon  road  was  finally  built  through  the  gap  Rutherford 
and  his  men  had  passed  through  in  1776  to  subdue  the  Cher- 
okees. 

The  Old  Swannanoa  Gap  Road.15  "The  old  road  through 
this  gap  did  not  cross,  as  it  has  often  been  stated  to  have 
done,  at  the  place  where  the  Long  or  Swannanoa  Tunnel  is. 
In  later  years  the  stage  road  did  cross  at  that  place.  But 
the  old  road  crossed  a  half  a  mile  further  south.  To  travel 
it  one  would  not,  as  in  the  case  of  the  later  road,  leave  Old 
Fort  and  pass  up  Mill  Creek  three  miles  to  where  Henry 
station,  so  long  the  head  of  the  railroad,  stood.  He  would 
leave  Old  Fort  and  go  across  the  creek  directly  west  for  about 
a  mile  before  going  into  the  mountains.  Then  he  would 
turn  to  the  right,  ascend  the  mountain,  cross  it  at  about  one- 
half  mile  south  of  Swannanoa  tunnel,  and  thence  pass  down 
the  mountain  until  the  road  joined  the  later  road  above 
Black  Mountain  station." 

Buncombe  County  Roads.  In  his  very  admirable  work, 
"Asheville's  Centenary"  (1898),  Dr.  F.  A.  Sondley  gives  a 
fine  account  of  the  building  of  the  first  roads  in  Buncombe 
county.  The  first  of  these  ran  from  the  Swannanoa  river  to 
Davidson  river,  in  what  is  now  Transylvania  county,  crossing 
the  French  Broad  below  the  mouth  of  Avery's  creek,  passing 
Mills  river  and  going  up  Boydsteens  (now  improperly  pro- 
nounced Boilston)  creek;  the  second  ran  from  "the  wagon  ford 
on  Rims  (now  called  Reems)  creek  to  join  the  road  from  Tur- 
key cove,  Catawba,  to  Robert  Henton's  on  Cane  river,  after 
passing  through  Asheville.  In  July,  1793,  the  court  ordered  a 
road  to  be  laid  off  from  Buncombe  court  house  to  the  Bull 
mountain  road  near  Robert  Love's.  In  1795  a  road  was  ordered 
to  run  from  the  court  house  to  Jonathan  McPeter's  on  Hom- 
iny creek;  and  at  a  later  period  two  other  roads  ran  out  north 


236        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

from  Asheville  to  Beaver  Dam  and  Glenn  creek.  Then  fol- 
lowed the  Warm  Springs  road,  crossing  Reems  creek  at  the 
old  Wagoner  ford  and  through  the  rear  of  the  old  Alexander 
farm,  crossing  Flat  creek"  and  ran  on  to  the  farm  of  Bedent 
Smith  near  the  Madison  county  line,  where  it  turned  west 
and  ran  to  the  mouth  of  Ivy,  thence  to  Marshall  "and  about 
one-half  mile  below  that  town  turned  to  the  east  and  ran 
with  the  old  Hopewell  turnpike,  built  by  Philip  Hoodenpyle, 
later  known  as  the  Jewel  Hill  road,  to  Warm  Springs." 

On  July  8,  1795,  Governor  Blount  of  the  territory  south  of 
the  Ohio  river,  now  called  Tennessee,  suggested  to  the  council 
of  that  territory  the  opening  of  a  road  from  Buncombe  court 
house  to  Tennessee;  and  Sevier  and  Taylor  were  appointed 
to  act  with  Wear,  Cocke,  Doherty  and  Taylor  to  consider  the 
matter,  which  resulted  in  the  opening  of  a  road  from  North 
Carolina  to  Tennessee,  via  Warm  Springs,  following  the  right 
bank  of  the  French  Broad  to  Warm  Springs.  In  1793  the 
Bairds  "had  carried  up  their  four-wheel  wagon  across  the 
Saluda  gap,  a  road  through  which  had  been  opened  by  Col. 
Earle  for  South  Carolina  for  $4,000,  and  is  probably  the  old 
road  from  Columbia,  which  passed  through  Newberry  and 
Greenville  districts,"  and  yet  known  in  upper  South  Caro- 
lina as  the  old  State  or  Buncombe  road.  "There  was  already 
a  road  or  trail  coming  from  the  direction  of  South  Carolina 
to  Asheville,"  crossing  the  Swannanoa  at  the  Gum  Spring, 
and  known  as  the  "road  from  Augusta  in  Georgia  to  Knox- 
ville."     (Record  Book  62,  p.  361.) 

The  New  Stock  Road.  This  road  passes  through  Weaver- 
ville,  Jupiter,  Jewel  Hill  and  through  Shelton  Laurel  in  Madi- 
son into  Tennessee,  and  was  built  when  Dr.  Wm.  Askew, 
who  was  born  in  1832,  was  a  boy,  in  order  to  escape  the  delays 
of  waiting  for  the  French  Broad  river  to  subside  in  times  of 
freshets,  and  in  winter,  of  avoiding  the  ice  which  drifted  into 
the  road  from  the  river  and  sometimes  made  it  impassable. 
But  Bishop  Asbury  records  the  fact  that  on  Tuesday,  October 
25,  1803,  in  coming  from  Mr.  Nelson's  at  Warm  Springs  to 
K'llian's  on  Beaver  Dam,  "the  road  is  greatly  mended  by 
changing  the  direction  and  throwing  a  bridge  over  Ivy." 
This  is  probably  part  of  the  road  that  runs  up  Ivy  creek  from 
French  Broad  and  crosses  Ivy  about  a  mile  up  stream,  and 
then  comes  on  by  Jupiter  to  Asheville.     If  so,  the  New  Stock 


ROADS,  STAGE  COACHES  AND  TAVERNS    237 

must  have  started  from  that  bridge  across  Ivy  and  run  by  Jewel 
Hill  to  the  Tennessee  line. 

The  Buncombe  Turnpike.16  "In  1824  Asheville  received 
her  greatest  impetus.  In  that  year  the  legislature  of  North 
Carolina  incorporated  the  now  famous  but  abandoned  Bun- 
combe Turnpike  road,  directing  James  Patton,  Samuel 
Chunn  and  George  Swain  to  receive  subscriptions  "for  the 
purpose  of  laying  out  and  making  a  turnpike  road  from  the 
Saluda  Gap,  in  the  county  of  Buncombe,  by  way  of  Smith's, 
Maryville,  Asheville  and  the  Warm  Springs,  to  the  Tennessee 
line."  (2  Rev.  Stat,  of  N.  C,  418).  This  great  thorough- 
fare was  completed  in  1828,  and  brought  a  stream  of  travel 
through  Western  North  Carolina.  All  the  attacks  upon  the 
legality  of  the  act  establishing  it  were  overruled  by  the 
Supreme  court  of  the  State,  and  Western  North  Carolina 
entered  through  it  upon  a  career  of  marvelous  prosperity, 
which  continued  for  many  years. 

Asheville  and  Greenville  Plank  Road.16  "In  1851 
the  legislature  of  the  State  of  North  Carolina  incorporated 
the  Asheville  &  Greenville  Plank  Road  Company,  with 
authority  to  that  company  to  occupy  and  use  this  turnpike 
road  upon  certain  prescribed  terms.  A  plank  road  was  ocn- 
structed  over  the  southern  portion  of  it,  or  the  greater  part 
of  it  south  of  Asheville,  and  contributed  yet  more  to  Ashe- 
villes's  prosperity.  By  the  conclusion  of  the  late  war,  how- 
ever, this  plank  road  had  gone  down,  and  in  1866  the  charter 
of  the  plank  road  company  was  repealed,  while  the  old  Bun- 
combe turnpike  was  suffered  to  fall  into  neglect." 

Asheville  Gets  A  Start.16  From  the  time  of  the  build- 
ing of  the  Buncombe  Turnpike  road,  Asheville  began  to  be  a 
health  resort  and  summering  place  for  the  South  Carolinians, 
who  have  ever  since  patronized  it  as  such. 

The  Watchese  Road.  In  1813  a  company  was  organized 
to  lay  out  a  free  public  road  from  the  Tennessee  river  to  the 
head  of  navigation  on  the  Tugaloo  branch  of  the  Savannah 
river.  It  was  completed  in  1813,  and  became  the  great  high- 
way from  the  coast  to  the  Tennessee  settlements.17 

First  Roads  over  the  "Smokies."  John  Strother  men- 
tions but  two  roads  as  crossing  the  mountains  between  Vir- 
ginia and  the  Pigeon  river,  that  at  "a  low  gap  between  the 
waters  of  Cove  creek — in  what  is  now  Watauga  county — 


238        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

and  Roans  creek — in  what  is  now  Johnson  county,  Tenn. — 
and  that  of  "the  road  leading  from  Morganton  to  Jones- 
borough,"  Tenn.,  between  the  Yellow  and  the  Roan.18 

First  Roads  over  the  Unakas.  Of  the  survey  in  1821, 
from  the  end  of  the  1799  survey  on  Big  Pigeon  to  the  Georgia 
line  is  116  miles;  and  yet,  as  late  as  1821  there  were  but  two 
roads  crossing  from  North  Carolina  into  Tennessee.  They 
were  "the  Cataloochee  track"  where  the  1799  survey  ended 
and  "the  wagon  road"  at  the  101st  mile  post  on  the  Hiwassee 
river.19 

Little  Tennessee  River  Road.  Just  when  the  wagon 
road  from  Tallassee  ford  up  the  Little  Tennessee  river  was 
first  constructed  cannot  be  definitely  ascertained.  Some 
sort  of  a  road,  probably  an  Indian  trail,  may  have  existed  for 
years  before  the  coming  of  the  whites  into  that  section;  but 
it  is  not  probable,  as  a  road  near  the  river  bank  is  simply 
impossible,  while  on  the  left  side  of  the  Little  Tennessee  is 
what  is  now  known  as  the  Belding  Trail.  But  this  name  has 
only  recently  been  bestowed  on  an  ancient  Indian  trail  which 
followed  the  Cheoah  river  to  what  is  now  Johnson  post  office 
and  then  cut  across  the  ridges  to  Bear  creek,  passing  Dave 
Orr's  house,  to  Slick  Rock  creek,  and  thence  down  to  Tallassee 
ford  and  the  Hardin  farm. 

Gen.  Winfield  Scott's  Military  Road.  It  is  probable, 
however,  that  Gen.  Winfield  Scott  had  a  military  road  con- 
structed from  Calhoun,  his  headquarters  in  Tennessee,  up 
to  the  junction  of  the  Little  Tennessee  with  the  Tuckaseegee 
at  what  is  now  Buslmell;  for  we  know  that  it  was  down  this 
road  that  most  of  the  Cherokees  were  driven  during  the 
Removal  of  1838.  But  it  was  impossible  for  this  road  to 
follow  the  river  bank  beyond  the  Paine  branch,  where  it  left 
the  river  and  by  following  that  branch,  crossed  the  ridge  and 
returned  to  the  river  again,  reaching  it  at  what  is  now  called 
Fairfax.  For  it  was  at  the  mouth  of  the  Paine  branch  that 
Old  Charley,  the  Cherokee,  and  his  family  made  their  break 
for  liberty,  and  succeeded  in  escaping'  in  1838.  Beyond 
Rocky  Point,  however,  it  is  impossible  even  for  modern  en- 
gineers, except  at  a  prohibitive  cost,  to  build  a  road  near  the 
river  bank,  and  the  consequence  has  been  that  the  road  runs 
over  a  series  of  ridges,  which  spread  off  from  the  end  of  the 
Great  Smoky  range  like  so  many  figures,  down  to  the  Little 


ROADS,  STAGE  COACHES  AND  TAVERNS     239 

Tennessee.  Gen.  Wool's  soldiers  built  the  road  from  Val- 
leytown  to  Robbinsville  in  1836-7. 20 

Crusoe  Jack  and  Judge  Fax.  There  is  a  tradition  that, 
when  the  treaty  of  Tellieo  in  1789  was  made,  Crusoe  Jack, 
a  mulatto,  got  a  grant  to  the  magnificent  Harden  farm  and 
that  John  Harden  traded  him  out  of  it.  Harden  worked 
about  fifty  slaves  on  this  farm,  among  whom  was  Fax,  a  mu- 
latto, who  bought  his  freedom  from  John  Harden,  whose  de- 
scendants still  own  this  farm,  and  settled  at  Fairfax,  where 
Daniel  Lester  afterwards  lived  for  many  years,  and  where 
Jeremiah  Jenkins  afterwards  lived  and  died.  Fax  was  called 
Judge  Fax  and  kept  a  public  house  where  he  supplied  wagoners 
and  other  travelers  with  such  accommodations  as  he  could. 

Old  Wilkesborough  Roads.  The  prinicipal  road  from 
Wilkesboro  passed  through  Deep  gap  and  went  by  Boone. 
The  Phillips  gap  road  was  made  just  before  the  Civil  War  and 
after  Arthur  D.  Cole  settled  on  Gap  creek  and  began  his 
extensive  business  there  it  was  much  used.  All  freight  came 
from  Wilkesboro.  The  turnpike  from  Patterson  over  Blowing 
R,ock  gap  passed  down  the  Watauga  river  and  Shull's  Mills 
to  Valle  Crucis,  Ward's  store,  Beech,  and  Watauga  Falls  to 
Cardens'  bluff  in  Tennessee,  after  which  it  left  the  Watauga 
river  and  crossed  the  ridge  to  Hampton  and  Doe  river,  going 
on  to  Jonesboro.  It  was  surveyed  about  1848  by  Col.  William 
Lenoir  and  built  soon  afterwards.  David  J.  Farthing  and 
Anderson  Cable  remember  seeing  the  grading  while  it  was 
being  built,  and  Alfred  Moretz  of  Deep  Gap  was  present 
when  sections  of  the  road  were  bid  off  by  residents,  the  bid- 
ding being  near  the  mouth  of  Beech  creek. 

The  Western  Turnpike.  In  1848-9  the  legislature  passed 
an  act  to  provide  for  a  turnpike  road  from  Salisbury  to  the 
line  of  the  State  of  Georgia.  The  lands  of  the  Cherokees  were 
later  pledged  for  the  building  of  this  "Western  Turnpike," 
as  it  was  officially  called,  and  in  1852-3  another  act  was  passed 
"to  bring  into  market  the  lands"  so  pledged,  and  this  act  was 
later  (Ch.  22,  Laws  1854-5)  supplemented  by  an  act  which 
gave  the  road  the  proceeds  of  the  sales  of  the  Cherokee  lands 
in  Cherokee,  Macon,  Jackson  and  Haywood  counties.  At  the 
latter  session  another  act  was  passed  making  Asheville  the 
eastern  terminus  and  the  Tennessee  line,  near  Ducktown,  the 
Avestern  terminus  of  this  road,  and  providing  that  it  should 


240        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

also  extend  to  the  Georgia  line;  but  that  the  latter  road  should 
be  only  a  branch  of  the  main  road.  It  also  provided  that  in 
case  the  bridge  across  the  French  Broad  river — presumably 
Smith's  bridge  at  Asheville — could  not  be  obtained  on  satis- 
factory terms,  the  route  of  the  turnpike  might  be  changed 
and  a  new  bridge  constructed.  As  this  was  not  done,  it  is 
probable  that  satisfactory  terms  were  made  for  the  use  of 
Smith's  bridge,  as  it  had  been  sold  to  Buncombe  county 
about  1853.  When  this  road  reached  the  Tuckaseegee  river 
"the  influence  of  Franklin  and  Macon  county  was  the  prin- 
cipal force  which  took  it  across  the  Cowee  and  Nantahala 
mountains21.  The  survey  was  made  by  an  engineer  by  the 
name  of  Fox  in  1849.  It  was  completed  over  the  Valley  river 
mountains  and  Murphy  in  1856.  The  late  Nimrod  S.  Jarrett 
was  chief  of  construction.  Chapter  51,  Laws  of  1854-5  defined 
the  duties  of  and  powers  of  turnpike  and  plankroad  compa- 
nies, and  acts  incorporating  the  latter  throughout  the  State 
passed  at  that  session  extend  from  page  178  to  page  216, 
showing  their  popularity. 

Smith's  Bridge.  Long  before  a  bridge  had  been  built 
across  the  French  Broad  at  Asheville  Edmund  Sams,  who  had 
come  from  the  Watauga  settlement  and  settled  on  the  west 
side  of  the  French  Broad  at  what  was  later  known  as  the 
Gaston  place  about  a  mile  above  the  mouth  of  the  Swanna- 
noa  operated  a  ferry  there.  He  had  been  an  Indian  fighter, 
and  later  a  soldier  of  the  Revolution.  He  was  also  for  years 
a  trustee  of  the  Newton  Academy,  and  died  on  the  farm  of 
his  father-in-law,  Thomas  Foster,  near  Biltmore.  John  Jar- 
rett afterwards  lived  at  the  western  terminus  of  the  present 
bridge,  keeping  the  ferry  and  charging  toll.  Subsequently  he 
sold  it  to  James  M.  Smith,  who  built  a  toll  bridge  there,  which 
he  maintained  till  about  1853,  when  he  died,  after  having  sold 
the  bridge  to  Buncombe  county.  After  this  it  became  a  free 
bridge.  In  1881  it  was  removed  to  make  way  for  the  pres- 
ent iron  structure,  but  its  old  foundations  are  yet  plainly  to  be 
seen.22  That  old  bridge  was  a  single  track  affair  without 
handrails  for  a  long  time  before  the  Civil  War,  and  nothing 
but  log  stringers  on  each  side  of  the  roadway.  Col.  J.  C. 
Smathers  of  Turnpike  remembers  when,  if  a  team  began  to 
back,  there  was  nothing  to  prevent  a  vehicle  going  over  into 
the  river.     Chapter  313,  Laws,  1883,    made    it    unlawful  to 


ROADS,  STAGE  COACHES  AND  TAVERNS  241 

drive  or  ride  faster  than  a  walk  over  the  new  double-track 
bridge  at  Asheville." 

Carrier's  Bridge.  This  was  built  about  1893,  crossing 
the  French  Broad  at  the  mouth  of  the  Swannanoa  river.  It 
was  afterwards  sold  to  the  county.  Pearson's  Bridge,  near 
Riverside  Park,  was  built  by  Hon.  Richmond  Pearson  about 
this  time,  but  afterwards  taken  over  by  the  county.  The 
Concrete  bridge  below  the  passenger  depot  was  finished  and 
opened  in  1911. 

Gorman's  Bridge.  This  is  about  five  miles  below  Ashe- 
ville and  was  erected  long  before  the  war,  but  was  washed 
away.  It  was  replaced  by  the  present  iron  structure,  about 
1900. 

The  Anderson  Road.  About  the  year  1858  a  road  was 
made  from  the  head  of  Cade's  Cove  in  Blount  county,  Tenn., 
around  the  Boat  mountain  to  what  is  now  and  was  probably 
then  the  Spence  Cabin  at  Thunderhead  mountain.  It  was 
finished  to  this  point,  in  the  expectation  that  a  road  from  the 
mouth  of  Chambers  creek,  below  Bushnel,  would  be  built  over 
into  the  Hazel  creek  settlement,  and  thence  up  the  Foster 
ridge  and  through  the  Haw  gap  to  meet  it.  But  North  Caro- 
lina failed  to  do  its  part,  and  the  old  Anderson  road  in  a  ruin- 
ous condition,  but  still  passable  for  footmen  and  horsemen,  re- 
mains a  mute  witness  to  somebody's  bad  faith  in  the  past. 

Great  Road  Activity.  Between  1848  and  1862,  while  the 
late  Col.  W.  H.  Thomas  was  in  the  legislature,  the  statute 
books  are  full  of  charters  •  for  turnpike  and  plankroad  com- 
panies all  through  the  mountains.  Many  of  these  roads  were 
not  to  be  new  roads  but  improvements  on  old  roads  which 
were  bad;  and  some  of  the  roads  authorized  were  never  built 
at  all.  The  Jones  gap  road  to  Caesar's  head,  the  road  from 
Bakersville  to  Burnsville,  the  road  from  Patterson  to  Valle 
Crucis  and  on  to  Jonesboro,  the  road  up  Cove  creek  by  trade 
and  Zionville  to  what  is  now  Mountain  City,  the  road  over 
Cataloochee  to  Newport,  the  road  up  Ocona  Lufty,  the  road 
through  Soco  gap,  the  road  up  Tuckaseegee  river  and  the 
Nantahala,  through  Red  Marble  gap,  etc.,  were  all  chartered 
during  that  time.  And  Col.  Thomas  was  especially  interested 
in  the  road  from  Old  Valleytown  over  the  Snowbird  moun- 
tain, via  Robbinsville  (Junaluska's  old  home)  down  the  Che- 
owah  river  to  Rocky  Point,  where  he  had  built  a  bridge  across 

W.  N.  C— 16 


242        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

the  Little  Tennessee  and  was  confidently  awaiting  the  ap- 
proach of  the  Blue  Riclge  railroad,  which  has  not  arrived  yet. 

Old  Stage  Coach  Days.  "From  Greenville  to  Greenville" 
was  the  watchword  when  bids  were  made  for  the  mail  lines  in 
those  days.  Each  Greenville  was  sixty  miles  from  Asheville. 
The  stops  between  Greenville,  S.  C.  and  Asheville  were,  first, 
at  C.  Montgomery's,  ten  miles  north  of  Greenville,  then  at 
Garmany's,  twenty  miles;  then  at  Col.  John  Davis's,  near  the 
State  line,  where  Col.  David  Vance  was  taken  to  die  after  his 
duel  with  Carson  in  1827;  then  at  Hendersonville;  then  at 
Shufordsville,  or  Arden,  12  miles,  then  at  Asheville.  Col. 
Ripley  sold  out  to  John  T.  Poole,  of  Greenville,  S.  C,  about 
1855,  and  he  ran  hacks  till  1865  when  Terrell  W.  Taylor  bought 
him  out  and  continued  to  run  hacks  till  the  Spartanburg  & 
Asheville  Railroad  reached  Tryon,  about  1876. 

Old  Stage  Coach  Contractors.  J.  C.  Hankins  of  Green- 
ville, Tenn.,  used  to  have  the  line  from  that  point  to  Warm 
Springs,  his  stages  starting  out  from  Greenville  nearly  oppo- 
site the  former  residence  of  the  late  Andrew  Johnson,  once 
President  of  the  United  States,  and  whose  son,  Andrew  John- 
son, Jr.,  married  Elizabeth,  the  second  daughter  of  Col.  J.  H. 
Rumbough  of  Hot  Springs.  He  stopped  running  this  line, 
however,  when  the  railroad  reached  Wolf  Creek  in  1868.  The 
late  Wm.  P.  Blair  of  Asheville,  who  used  to  run  the  old  Eagle 
hotel,  also  ran  the  stage  line  from  Asheville  to  Greenville, 
Tenn.,  (this  was  at  the  beginning  of  the  Civil  War)  until  his 
stock  and  coaches  were  captured  -by  Col.  G.  W.  Kirk.  In 
July,  1866,  Col.  Rumbough  ran  the  stage  line  from  Greenville, 
Tenn.,  to  Greenville,  S.  C.  The  "stands,"  as  the  stopping 
places  were  called,  were  breakfast  at  Warm  Springs,  dinner 
at  Marshall,  supper  at  Asheville.  Owing  to  the  condition  of 
the  roads  Col.  Rumbough  cut  down  the  toll  gate  at  Marshall 
in  July,  1866,  and  the  matter  was  compromised  by  allowing 
him  to  apply  the  tolls  to  keeping  the  road  in  condition,  in- 
stead of  letting  the  turnpike  company  do  it. 

Keen  Competitors.  Col.  Rumbough  ran  the  line  about 
a  year  and  a  half,  when  Hon.  A.  H.  Jones,  congressman,  got 
the  contract,  but  failed  to  carry  it  out,  and  Col.  Rumbough 
took  it  again. 

The  Morganton  Line.  The  stage  line  from  Morganton 
to  the   "head  of  the  railroad,"  as  the  various  stopping  place 


ROADS,  STAGE  COACHES  AND  TAVERNS     243 

along  the  line  as  the  road  progressed  toward  Asheville  were 
called,  was  running  many  years  before  the  Civil  War.  After 
that,  the  late  E.  T.  Clemmons  of  Salem  came  to  Asheville 
and  operated  the  line  from  Old  Fort  to  Asheville. 

Through  Hickory-Nut  Gap.  In  1834  Bedford  Sherrill 
secured  a  four  years'  contract  to  haul  the  mails  from  Salis- 
bury via  Lincolnton,  Schenck's  Cotton  mills,  and  Ruther- 
fordton  to  Asheville.  He  moved  shortly  afterwards  to  Hick- 
ory Nut  gap,  for  years  thereafter  famous  as  one  of  the  old 
taverns  of  the  mountains.  Ben  Seney  of  Tennessee  succeeded 
him  as  mail  carrier  on  this  route,  but  he  did  not  complete  his 
contract,  giving  it  up  before  the  expiration  of  the  four  years. 
Old  fashioned  Albany  stage  coaches  were  used. 

Hacks  to  Murphy.  As  the  railroads  approached  Ashe- 
ville the  hacks  and  stages  were  taken  off.  The  late  Pinckney 
Rollins  ran  a  weekly  hack  line,  which  carried  the  mail,  from 
Asheville  to  Murphy  from  about  1870,  and  shortly  afterward 
changed  it  to  a  daily  line.  But  he  failed  at  it,  and  lost  much 
money.  The  stopping  places  in  1871  were  Turnpike  for 
dinner,  Waynesville  for  supper,  where  a  stop  was  made  till 
next  day.  Then  to  Webster  for  dinner  and  Josh  Frank's, 
two  miles  east  of  Franklin,  for  supper  and  night.  The  third 
day  took  the  mail  through  Franklin  to  Aquone  for  dinner 
at  Stepp's,  at  the  bridge23;  and  to  Mrs.  Walker's,  at  Old  Val- 
ley Town,  for  supper.  The  next  day  the  trip  was  made  to 
Murphy  for  dinner,  and  back  that  night  to  Old  Valley  Town. 
As  the  railroad  progressed  toward  Waynesville  the  hacks  ran 
from  the  various  termini  to  that  town. 

From  Salem  to  Jonesborough.  As  far  back  as  1840  stages 
or  hacks  ran  from  Salem  via  Wilkesboro,  Jefferson,  Creston, 
through  Ambrose  gap,  Taylorsville,  Tenn.,  to  Jonesboro, 
Tennessee;  but  they  were  withdrawn  at  least  ten  years  before 
the  Civil  War,  after  which  Samuel  Northington  ran  a  line  of 
hacks  from  Jefferson  to  Taylorsville,  now  Mountain  City, 
Tennessee.  Stages  were  run  from  Lenoir  via  Blowing  Rock, 
Shulls  Mills  and  Zionville  from  1852  to  1861. 

Moonlight  and  the  Old  Stage  Horn.  In  1828,  when 
"Billy"  Vance  kept  the  Warm  Springs  hotel,  old  fashioned 
stage  coaches  ran  between  Asheville  and  Greenville,  Tenn., 
and  Greenville,  S.  C.24  According  to  the  recollection  of  Dr. 
T.  A.  Allen  of  Hendersonville,  N.  C,  "the  old  stage  line  back 


244        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

in  1840  was  operated  by  the  Stocktons  of  Maryland  from 
Augusta,  Ga.,  "via  Greenville,  S.  C,  Asheville,  N.  C,  the 
Warm  Springs  and  across  Paint  Mountain  to  Greenville, 
Tennessee.  "The  line  from  Greenville,  S.  C,  to  Greenville, 
Tenn.,  was  sold  to  the  late  Valentine  Ripley,  who  bought  it 
and  settled  in  Hendersonville  about  1845."  They  ran  Con- 
cord coaches — 'sometimes  called  Albany  coaches — which  were 
swung  on  leather  braces  and  carried  nine  passengers  inside, 
with  a  boot  behind  for  trunks,  and  space  on  top  and  beside 
the  driver  for  several  additional  passengers.  The  driver  was 
an  autocrat,  and  carried  a  long  tin  horn,  which  he  blew  as 
stopping  places  were  approached,  to  warn  the  inn-keepers  of 
the  number  of  passengers  to  be  entertained.  Nothing  was 
lovelier  on  a  moonlit,  frosty  night  than  these  sweet  notes 
echoing  over  hill  and  dale: 

"O,  hark,  O,  hear,  how  thin  and  clear, 
And  thinner,  clearer,  farther  going! 
O,  sweet  and  far  from  cliff  and  scar 

The  horns  of  Elfland  faintly  blowing!" 

When  the  railroad  was  completed  to  Greenville,  S.  C,  in 
1855,  Col.  Ripley  ran  stages  from  Greenville,  Tenn.,  to  Green- 
ville, S.  C,  daily,  though  in  1853  he  had  been  limited  to  the 
run  from  Greenville,  S.  C,  to  Asheville,  N.  C."25 

Jefferson  and  Wilkesborough  Turnpike.  In  1901 
the  Wilkesborough  and  Jefferson  Turnpike  company  was 
incorporated.  (Private  Laws,  ch.  286)  and  the  road  was 
completed  in  five  years.  The  State  simply  furnished  the 
convicts  and  the  stockholders  the  provisions  and  the  expenses 
of  the  guard. 

Other  Counties  Get  Good  Roads.  In  1911  Hon.  J.  H. 
Dillard  secured  the  passage  by  the  legislature  of  a  road  law 
under  which  Murphy  township  is  authorized  to  issue  $150,- 
000.00  of  six  per  cent  bonds  for  the  improvement  of  the  roads, 
and  the  four  main  streets  of  the  town  and  roads  leading  into 
the  country.  Haywood  had  already  done  much  for  the 
improvement  of  its  roads,  while  Watauga  has  undoubtedly 
the  best  roads  west  of  the  Blue  Ridge,  the  roads  to  Blowing 
Rock,  Shull's  Mills,  Boone,  Valle  Crucis  and  Banners  Elk 
and  Elk  Cross  roads  being  unsurpassed  anywhere. 

Carver's  Gap  Road.       Chapter  63   of  the  Private  laws 


ROADS,  STAGE  COACHES  AND  TAVERNS    245 

of  1881  amended  chapter  72  of  Private  laws  of  1866-67  by- 
allowing  John  L.  Wilder,  John  E.  Toppan  and  others  to  build 
a  turnpike  from  Wilder's  forge  on  Big  Rock  creek  across 
Roan  mountain  to  Carver's  gap  on  the  Tennessee  State  line; 
and  to  make  a  turnpike  from  Carver's  gap  down  the  valley 
of  Little  Rock  creek  to  the  ford  of  said  creek  at  John  G.  Burli- 
son's  dwelling  house. 

Convicts  to  Make  County  Roads.  On  the  6th  of  Feb- 
raury,  1893,  the  Buncombe  county  commissioners  approved  a 
bill  which  had  been  introduced  in  the  legislature  by  Gen.  R. 
B.  Vance  to  use  convicts  for  working  county  roads,  which  has 
proven  beneficent,  except  that  negroes  and  whites  are  crowded 
together  in  too  small  quarters.  Convicts  prefer  work  in  the 
open  air  to  confinement  in  jails  and  penitentiaries. 

End  or  Toll  Gates.  On  the  5th  of  September,  1881, 
the  old  Buncombe  Turnpike  company  surrendered  and  the 
commissioners  accepted  its  charter.  The  turnpike  down  the 
French  Broad  river  having  been  turned  over  to  the  Western 
North  Carolina  railroad  company  for  stock  in  that  enterprise 
in  1869,  all  that  was  left  to  be  surrendered  was  the  road  from 
the  Henderson  county  line  to  Asheville,  passing  through  Lime- 
stone township.  Gradually  each  county  took  over  the  great 
Western  Turnpike  from  Asheville  to  Murphy,  thus  abolishing 
toll  gates  along  the  road,  the  legislature  having  authorized 
this  change.  There  are  still  toll  gates  on  some  roads,  but 
they  have  been  specially  authorized  by  legislative  enactment, 
and  are  comparatively  few,  Yonahlossee  and  Elk  Park  roads 
being  of  the  number. 

Rip  Vanwinkle  Buncombe.  From  1880  to  1896  Asheville 
had  gone  ahead  by  leaps  and  bounds,  having  in  that  time 
paved  its  streets,  built  electric  railroads,  hotels  and  private 
residences  that  are  still  the  pride  of  all;  but  the  county  had 
stood  still.  Its  old  court  house,  jail  and  alms  house  were  a 
reflection  on  the  progress  of  the  times.  But  in  1896,  "Cousin 
Caney"  Brown  was  elected  chairman  of  the  board  of  county 
commissioners,  and  graded  a  good  road  from  Smith's  bridge 
in  the  direction  of  his  farm,  using  the  county  convicts  for  the 
work.26  He  had  a  farm  at  the  end  of  the  road,  it  is  true, 
and  was  criticised  for  building  the  road;  but  it  was  such  a 
well  graded  thoroughfare  and  such  an  object  lesson  that  the 
people  not  only  forgave  him  for  providing  a  better  road  to 


246        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

his  home,  but  all  commissioners  who  have  followed  him  have 
been  afraid  not  to  contribute  something  to  what  he  began. 

Mark  L.  Reed.  Profiting  by  the  example  set  by  "Cousin 
Caney, "  M.  L.  Reed  spent  a  lot  of  good  money  building  other 
roads  which  were  macadamized,  placing  good  steel  bridges 
over  creeks  and  rivers  where  they  had  long  been  needed,  and 
in  replacing  the  disgraceful  old  court  house  by  a  modern 
structure,  and  providing  a  jail  that  is  ample  for  the  demands 
of  humanity  and  the  times.  A  decent  home  was  provided 
for  orphan  children  of  the  county.  The  old  alms  house  was 
given  up  and  better  quarters  provided  for  the  old  and  infirm 
of  the  county.  "Cousin  Caney"  had  set  the  pace,  and  soon 
other  good  roads  and  good  roads  sentiment  followed. 

Buncombe  Good  Roads  Association.  The  Good  Roads 
Association  of  Asheville  and  Buncombe  county  was  organized 
March  6,  1899,  Dr.  C.  P.  Ambler  was  the  president  and  B. 
M.  Jones  secretary  and  treasurer.  These  officers  have  been 
continued  in  their  positions  ever  since.  Their  object  is  the 
construction  and  improvement  of  roads.  They  have  suc- 
ceeded in  accomplishing  much  good— not  the  least  of  which 
are  mile  posts  and  sign  boards.  They  raised  $5,000.00  to 
improve  the  road  from  Asheville  to  Biltmore  soon  after  its 
organization  and  $550  for  the  survey  of  the  "crest  of  the 
Blue  Ridge  highway;"  and  constructed  a  horse-back  trail  to 
Mitchell's  Peak.  They  are  advocating  the  construction  of 
other  highways. 

Yonahlossee  Turnpike.  About  1890  the  Linville  Improve- 
ment company  was  formed,  having  among  its  stockholders 
Mr.  S.  T.  Kelsey,  formerly  of  Highlands,  N.  C,  and  before 
his  building  of  that  town,  of  Kansas.  Through  his  instru- 
mentality, largely,  assisted  by  the  Messers.  Ravenel  and  Don- 
ald Macrae,  the  latter  of  Wilmington,  there  was  constructed  the 
most  picturesque  and  durable  highway  in  the  mountains  or  the 
State.  It  begins  at  Linville  City,  two  miles  from  Monte- 
zuma, Avery  county,  and  runs  around  the  eastern  base  of 
Grandfather  mountain  to  Blowing  Rock,  a  distance  of  twenty 
miles.  It  cost  about  $18,000  complete.  It  gave  an  impetus 
to  other  road-builders.  A  road  was  soon  thereafter  built 
from  Blowing  Rock  to  Boone,  and  from  Valle  Crucis  to  Ban- 
ners Elk.     There  are  no  finer   roads  in  the  State,  and  none 


ROADS,  STAGE  COACHES  AND  TAVERNS  247 

built  on  more  difficult  ground.     In  1912  they  were  the  delight 
of  numerous  automobile  owners. 

NOTES. 

Asheville's  Centenary. 

2The  first  brakes  were  made  of  hickory  saplings  whose  branches  were  twined  around 
the  front  axle  and  bent  around  the  hind  wheels;  afterwards  came  "locking  chains"  attached 
to  the  body  of  wagons  and  then  passed  between  the  spokes  of  the  wheels  to  retard  the 
vehicle's  going  down  steep  grades.    Young  trees  draggad  on  the  road  also  served  at  times. 

3Asheville's  Centenary. 

4Roosevelt  (Vol.  I,  225)  records  the  fact  that  on  his  return  from  hh  first  visit  to  Watauga, 
in  the  fall  of  1770,  James  Robertson  lost  his  way,  and  for  14  days  lived  on  nuts  and  berries, 
and  abandoned  his  horse  among  impassible  precipices.  If  he  followed  up  the  left  bank  of 
the  Watauga  and  did  not  see  that  the  Doe  came  into  the  former  stream  at  what  is  now 
Elizabethton ,  it  is  easy  to  see  how  he  followed  up  the  left  bank  of  the  latter  and  got  lost 
amid  the  precipices  of  what  is  now  Pardee's  Point. 

^Roosevelt,  Vol.  Ill,  pp.  97-98. 

6"  Dropped  Stitches  in  Tennessee  History,"  p.  4. 

'Letter  from  Col.  W.  L.  Bryan  of  Boone  to  J.  P.  A.,  December  3,  1912. 

Asheville's  Centenary.     Wheeler's  History  of  North  Carolina,  p.  476. 

9Deed  Book  E.,  p.  121-2,  Buncombe. 

"Statement  of  Francis  Marion  Wells  to  J.  P.  A.,  July  15,  1912.  Old  Newport  is  three 
miles  above  the  present  town,  the  railroad  does  not  pass  the  former  at  all. 

"This  must  have  been  a  local  name  for  this  part  of  the  range,  for  the  real  Unaka  moun- 
tains are  southwest  of  Little  Tennessee  river. 

12This  is  spelled  Neilson. 

i3Deed  Book  E,  Buncombe,  p.  122. 

"Ibid.,  p.  123. 

15Asheville's  Centenary. 

16From  Asheville's  Centenary. 

17See  chapter  on  Cherokee  Indians. 

18Deed  Book  E,  Reg.  Deeds,  Buncombe  county,  pp.  122-123. 

I9Davenport's  Diary  quoted  in  chapter  on  boundaries. 

2 "Sketch  of  Graham  County  by  Rev.  Joseph  A.  Wiggins,  February  3,  1912. 

21Capt.  James  W.  Terrell  in  The  Commonwealth,  Asheville,  June  1,  1893. 

22Condensed  from  Asheville's  Centenary,  183  8. 

23But  from  1872  dinner  was  taken  at  Capt.  A.  R.  Munday's. 

"Col.  J.  H.  Rumbough  to  J.  P.  A.,  November  13,  1912. 

"Dr.  T.  A.  Allen  to  J.  P.  A.,  November  12,  1912. 

26This  was  T.  Caney  Brown. 


CHAPTER  XI 
MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS 

Then  and  Now.  Probably  there  was  no  more  difference 
in  the  manners  and  customs  of  the  early  days  than  we  should 
now  see  in  a  community  of  modern  people  situated  as  were 
our  ancesters  one  hundred  and  fifty  years  ago.  There  was  a 
spirit  of  co-operation  then  that  made  conditions  much  easier 
to  bear  than  they  might  otherwise  have  been.  Those  who 
remember  the  Civil  War  times  in  the  South  will  recall  that  it 
is  possible  to  get  on  without  many  things  ordinarily  consid- 
ered indispensible ;  and  that  when  it  is  the  "fashion"  to  do 
without,  simplicity  becomes  quite  attractive.  Calico  gowns 
and  ribbonless  costumes  used  to  look  well  on  pretty  women 
and  girls  during  the  war,  and  hopinjon  was  far  better  than 
no  hopinjon.  We  imagine  that  we  are  far  removed  from  a 
state  of  nature,  but  when  the  occasion  arises  we  readily  adapt 
ourselves,  to  primitive  manners  and  customs. 

The  Rush  for  the  Mountains.  Long  before  the  treatjr 
of  1785  white  men  had  passed  beyond  the  Blue  Ridge  to  hunt 
and  trap.  Ashe  was  sparsely  settled  long  before  Buncombe; 
but  as  soon  as  the  land  between  the  Blue  Ridge  and  the 
Pigeon  river  was  open  for  settlement  legally,  white  men  began 
to  settle  there,  too. 

Where  They  Came  From.  Most  of  these  early  settlers 
came  from  east  of  the  Blue  Ridge,  though  many  came  from 
the  Watauga  Settlements  in  what  is  now  Tennessee.  Wolf 
Hill,  now  Staunton,  contributed  its  quota,  most  of  them  going 
into  what  are  now  Ashe,  Alleghany  and  Watauga  counties. 
The  charm  of  hunting  lured  many,  but  most  who  sought  the 
mountains  doubtless  came  from  the  mountainous  regions  of 
Scotland.  After  the  French  and  Indian  War  several  families 
that  had  gone  into  the  Piedmont  region  of  South  Carolina, 
came  through  the  Saluda  gap  and  settled  in  what  was  then 
Buncombe,  though  now  called  Henderson  and  Transylvania. 
The  Whiskey  Rebellion  in  Pennsylvania  late  in  the  Eighteenth 
century  is  also  credited  with  having  sent  many  good  citizens 
into  the  mountains  of  western  North  Carolina. 
(248) 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  249 

The  Pioneer  Spirit  Persists.  Roosevelt  was  the  first 
historian  that  gave  to  the  pioneers  of  western  North  Carolina 
and  Tennessee  their  rightful  place  in  reclaiming  from  savage 
Indians  the  boundless  resources  of  the  Great  West.  Sam 
Houston,  Davy  Crockett  and  Daniel  Boone  went  from  our 
sacred  soil,  and  added  Texas  and  Kentucky  to  the  galaxy  of 
our  starry  flag;  while  Joseph  Lane  of  Oregon  first  saw  the 
light  of  day  through  the  chinks  of  a  dirt-floor  cabin  that  once 
stood  in  the  very  shadow  of  what  is  still  called  Lane's  Pinnacle 
of  the  rugged  Craggies — a  mute,  yet  eloquent,  monument  to 
that  spirit  of  liberty,  enterprize  and  adventure  that  still  fills 
our  army  and  navy  with  recruits  for  the  Sandwich  and  Phil- 
ippine Islands  of  the  Pacific.  Yet,  what  visitor  to  that  match- 
less canon  beyond  Hickory  Nut  pass,  knows  that  in  passing- 
through  Mine  Hole  gap  six  miles  east  of  Asheville,  he  was 
within  a  stone's  throw  of  the  spot  where  Lane's  father  in  the 
dawn  of  the  last  century  spent  laborious  days  while  mining  for 
the  precious  ore  that  was  to  furnish  horse-shoes,  plough-shares 
and  pruning-hooks  for  those  who  first  tilled  the  savannahs  of 
the  Swannanoa  and  the  French  Broad?  Did  the  pearls  of 
Henry  Grady's  eloquence,  erstwhile,  drop  scintilant,  and  thrill 
the  nation  from  the  Kennebeck  to  the  Willamette,  because  his 
lightest  gem  was  "shot  through  with  sunshine"?  Then  know, 
O  ye  fools  and  blind,  ye  who  never  cast  one  longing,  lingering- 
look  behind,  that  his  grandfather  was  once  sheriff  of  that  Bun- 
combe county  whose  people  are  classed  by  such  self-styled 
"national  journals"  as  Collier's  Weekly,  with  the  scorners  of 
all  law  and  order,  because,  forsooth,  of  the  sporadic  Allen  epi- 
sode in  Virginia.  Who  discovered  that  wonderland — the 
matchless  valley  of  the  far-famed  Yosemite?  James  M.  Roan 
of  Macon  county,  North  Carolina,  in  March  of  Fifty-one.1 
He,  with  the  Argonauts  of  the  world,  won  his  way  to  the 
Pacific  coast,  and  left  to  others  to  dig  from  the  dim  records 
of  the  past  some  frail  memorial  of  his  heroic  deeds.  The 
spirit  that  drove  him  forth  has  never  died,  and  today,  the 
mountains  and  hills  of  Idaho,  Montana,  Washington  and  Col- 
orado, are  dotted  with  the  homes  and  ranches  of  those  whose 
feet  first  trod  "where  rolls  the  Oregon."  And  Onalaska's  ice- 
ribbed  hills  are  peopled  with  our  kin,  as  will  be  every  frontier 
region  till  Time  shall  be  no  more.  Our  ancestors  were  the 
Crusaders  of  American  civilization,  and  "as  long  as  the  fame 


250         HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

of  their  matchless  struggle  shall  linger  in  tradition  and  in  song 
should  their  memories  be  cherished  by  the  descendants"  of  the 
peerless  "Roundheads  of  the  South."  Still,  the  incredulous 
may  ask  "Can  honor's  voice  provoke  the  silent  dust,  or  flat- 
tery soothe  the  dull,  cold  ear  of  death"?  No;  but  if  we  will 
but  heed  while  yet  we  may  the  silent  voices  of  our  worthy 
dead,  and  learn  the  lesson  of  the  days  now  gone,  we,  taking 
hope,  with  Tennyson  may  cry  : 

"Forward  to  the  starry  track, 
Glimmering  up  the  heights  beyond  me, 
On,  and  always  on!" 

The  First  Indian  Massacres.  Samuel  Davidson  was 
killed  by  Indians  in  1781  or  1782  at  the  head  of  the  Swan- 
nanoa  river,  near  what  is  now  Gudger's  ford;  and  Aaron 
Burleson  was  killed  on  Cane  creek  in  what  is  now  Mitchell 
county  about  the  same  time,  probably,  though  the  date  has 
been  lost.  He  was  an  ancestor  of  Postmaster-General  Burleson 
of  President  Wilson's  Cabinet  in  1914.  Davidson  had  belonged 
to  a  small  colony  of  whites  which  had  settled  around  what  is 
now  known  as  Old  Fort  at  the  head  of  the  Catawba  river  in 
what  is  now  McDowell  county.  Among  those  settlers  were 
the  Alexanders,  Davidsons,  Smiths,  Edmundsons,  and  Gudgers, 
from  whom  have  come  a  long  line  of  descendants  now  residing 
in  Western  North  Carolina.  Burleson  probably  belonged  to 
the  settlers  around  Morganton,  and  had  ventured  beyond  the 
Blue  Ridge  to  hunt  deer.  Davidson's  purpose,  however,  had 
been  permanent  settlement,  as  he  had  built  a  cabin  where  his 
family  was  living  when  he  was  killed.2 

Ashe  County.  Except  in  a  few  localities,  there  are  few 
evidences  of  Indian  occupation  by  Indians  of  the  territory 
west  of  the  Blue  Ridge  and  North  of  the  Catawba.  At  the 
Old  Field  on  New  River,  near  the  mouth  of  Gap  creek,  in 
Ashe  county,  was  probably  once  a  large  Indian  town,  arrow- 
heads, spear  points,  pieces  of  pottery,  etc.,  still  being  found 
there;  but  this  section  of  the  mountains  had  not  been  popu- 
lated by  the  red  men  for  thirteen  years  before  the  treaty  of 
1785,  the  Indians  having  leased  those  lands  in  1772,  and  in 
1775,  conveyed  them  outright.3 

Buffaloes.  Thwaite's  "Daniel  Boone"  gives  much  infor- 
mation as  to  the  buffaloes  that  once  were  in  this  section.  "At 
first  buffaloes  were  so  plenty  that  a  party  of  three  or  four  men 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  251 

with  dogs,  could  kill  from  ten  to  twenty  in  a  day;  but  soon  the 
sluggish  animals  receded  before  the  advance  of  white  men,  hid- 
ing themselves  behind  the  mountain  wall"  (pp.  17,  18).  "They 
exhibited  no  fear  until  the  wind  blew  from  the  hunters  toward 
them,  and  then  they  would  dash  wildly  away  in  large  droves 
and  disappear"  (p.  90).  Buffalo  trails  led  down  the  French 
Broad;  and  just  north  of  the  Toe  and  near  the  Indian  Grave 
gap  the  trail  is  still  distinctly  visible  where  it  crossed  the 
mountain.  The  valley  of  the  French  Broad  was  a  well  recog- 
nized hunting  ground  and  probably  it  had  contained  many 
buffaloes;  but  as  the  Cherokees  occupied  most  of  the  territory 
west  of  the  Pigeon,  it  is  more  than  likely  that  the  bison  family 
was  not  so  numerous  there;  although  in  Graham  county  there 
are  two  large  creeks  which  have  been  called  Buffalo  time  out 
of  mind.  Buffalo  used  to  herd  at  the  head  of  the  Yadkin 
river,  and  their  trails  crossed  the  mountains  into  Tennessee 
at  several  places.  But  this  part  of  the  mountains  had  been 
free  of  Indians  for  many  years  before  1750,  when  the  whites 
began  to  settle  there.  Col.  Byrd,  in  his  "Writings"  (p.  225), 
says  that  when  near  Sugar-tree  creek  when  running  the  Divid- 
ing Line  that  his  party  met  a  lone  buffalo  two  years  old — a 
bull  and  already  as  large  as  an  ox,  which  they  killed.  He 
adds  that  "the  Men  were  so  delighted  with  the  new  dyet, 
that  the  Gridiron  and  Frying  Pan  had  no  more  rest  all  night 
than  a  Poor  Husband  Subject  to  Curtain  Lectures."  Roose- 
velt4 mentions  that  "When  Mansker  first  went  to  the  Bluffs 
(now  Nashville)  in  1769,  the  buffaloes  were  more  numerous 
than  he  had  ever  seen  them  before;  the  ground  literally  shook 
under  the  gallop  of  the  mighty  herds,  they  crowded  in  dense 
throngs  round  the  licks,  and  the  forest  resounded  with  their 
grunting  bellows." 

One  Virtue  in  Leather  Breeches.  Col.  Byrd  in  his 
"Writings"  (p.  212)  has  these  observations  upon  the  curing 
of  skins  by  means  of  "smoak,"  as  he  invariably  spells  it  : 
"For  Expedition's  Sake  they  often  stretch  their  Skins  over 
Smoak  in  order  to  dry  them,  which  makes  them  smell  so  dis- 
agreeably that  a  Rat  must  have  a  good  Stomach  to  gnaw 
them  in  that  condition;  nay,  'tis  said,  while  that  perfume  con- 
tinues in  a  Pair  of  Leather  Breeches,  the  Person  who  wears 
them  will  be  in  no  danger  of  that  Villainous  insect  the  French 
call  the  Morpion" — whatever  that  may  be. 


252        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Some  Insect  Pests  of  Pioneer  Days.  This  same  versa- 
tile and  spicy  writer  makes  these  sage  remarks  concerning  cer- 
tain wood  insects  that  have  since  that  time  cost  these  United 
States  millions  of  dollars:  "The  Tykes  (ticks)  are  either  Deer- 
tykes,  or  those  that  annoy  Cattle.  The  first  kind  are  long, 
and  take  a  very  Strong  Gripe,  being  most  in  remote  woods, 
above  the  Inhabitants.  The  other  are  round  and  more  gen- 
erally insinuate  themselves  into  the  Flesh,  being  in  all  places 
where  Cattle  are  frequent.  Both  these  Sorts  are  apt  to  be 
troublesome  during  the  Warm  Season,  but  have  such  an  aver- 
sion to  Penny  Royal,  that  they  will  attack  no  Part  that  is 
rubbed  with  the  juice  of  that  fragrant  Vegetable.  And  a 
strong  decoction  of  this  is  likewise  fatal  to  the  most  efficient 
Seedtikes,  which  bury  themselves  in  your  Legs,  where  they  are 
so  small  you  can  hardly  discern  them  without  a  Microscope. 
[Surely  the  man  is  talking  about  "chiggers. "] 

Horseflies  and  Musquetas.  He  says  (p.  213)  that  Dit- 
tany "stuck  in  the  Head-Stall  of  your  Bridle"  will  keep  horse 
flies  at  a  "respectful  Distance.  Bear's  Oyl  is  said  to  be  used 
by  Indians  (p.  214)  against  every  species  of  Vermin."  He 
also  remarks  that  the  "Richer  sort  in  Egypt"  used  to  build 
towers  in  which  they  had  their  bed-chambers,  in  order  to  be 
out  of  the  reach  of  musquetas,  because  their  wings  are  "so 
weak  and  their  bodies  so  light  that  if  they  mount  never  so 
little,  the  Wind  blows  them  quite  away  from  their  Course, 
and  they  become  an  easy  prey  to  Martins,  East  India  Bats," 
etc.  (p.  214). 

Fire-Hunting.  This  Gentleman  of  Old  Virginia  (p.  223)  de- 
scribes an  unsportsman-like  practice  of  the  early  settlers  of  set- 
ting the  woods  afire  in  a  circumference  of  five  miles  and  driving 
in  the  game  of  all  kinds  to  the  hunters  stationed  near  the  center 
to  slaughter  the  terrified  animals.  The  deer  are  said  "to 
weep  and  groan  like  a  Human  Creature"  as  they  draw  near 
their  doom.  He  says  this  is  called  Fire-Hunting,  and  that 
"it  is  much  practiced  by  Indians  and  the  frontier  Inhabit- 
ants." This,  however,  is  not  what  was  later  known  as  fire- 
hunting,  which  consisted  in  blinding  the  deer  with  the  light 
from  torches  at  night  only,  and  shooting  at  their  eyes  when 
seen  in  the  darkness. 

Primogeniture  Reversed.  So  hateful  and  unjust  to  our 
ancestors  seemed  the  English  rule  which  gave  the  eldest  son 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  253 

the  real  estate,  that  a  custom  sprang  up  of  giving  the  young- 
est son  the  family  homestead,  which  persists  till  this  good 
hour.  Each  girl  got  a  cow,  a  mare  and  sufficient  "house- 
plunder"  with  which  to  set  up  house-keeping,  but  they  rarely 
got  any  land,  the  husband  being  expected  to  provide  that. 
This  latter  practice  still  exists,  though  girls  now  sometimes 
get  land  also. 

Game  and  Hunters.  According  to  Thwaite's  "Daniel 
Boone"  (p.  18),  "Three  or  four  men,  with  dogs,  could  kill 
from  ten  to  twenty  buffaloes  in  a  day,"  while  "an  ordinary 
hunter  could  slaughter  four  or  five  deer  in  a  day.  In  the 
autumn  from  sunrise  to  sunset  he  could  kill  enough  bears  to 
provide  over  a  ton  of  bear  meat  for  winter  use;  wild  turkeys 
were  easy  prey;  beavers,  otters  and  muskrats  abounded;  while 
wolves,  panthers  and  wildcats  overran  the  country." 
"Throughout  the  summer  and  autumn  deerskins  were  in  their 
best  condition.  Other  animals  were  occasionally  killed  to 
afford  variety  of  food,  but  fur -bearers  as  a  rule  only  furnish 
fine  pelts  in  the  winter  season.  Even  in  the  days  of  abun- 
dant game  the  hunter  was  required  to  exercise  much  skill, 
patience  and  endurance.  It  was  no  holiday  task  to  follow 
this  calling.  Deer,  especially,  were  hard  to  obtain.  The  hab- 
its of  this  excessively  cautious  animal  were  carefully  studied; 
the  hunter  must  know  how  to  imitate  its  various  calls,  to  take 
advantage  of  wind  and  weather,  and  to  practice  all  the  arts 
of  strategy"  (p.  74). 

Commercial  Side  of  Hunting.  "Deerskins  were,  all 
things  considered,"  continues  Thwaite  (p.  74),  "the  most 
remunerative  of  all.  When  roughly  dressed  and  dried  they 
were  worth  about  a  dollar  each;  as  they  were  numerous  and 
a  horse  could  carry  for  a  long  distance  about  a  hundred  such 
skins,  the  trade  was  considered  profitable  in  those  primitive 
times,  when  dollars  were  hard  to  obtain.  Pelts  of  beavers, 
found  in  good  condition  only  in  the  winter,  were  worth  about 
two  dollars  and  a  half  each,  and  of  otters  from  three  to  five 
dollars.  Thus  a  horse-load  of  beaver  furs,  when  obtainable, 
was  worth  about  five  times  that  of  a  load  of  deerskins;  and 
if  a  few  otters  could  be  thrown  in,  the  value  was  still  greater. 
The  skins  of  buffaloes,  bears,  and  elks  were  too  bulky  to  carry 
for  long  distances,  and  were  not  readily  marketable.  A  few 
elk  hides  were  needed,  however,  to  cut  into  harness  and  straps, 
and  bear  and  buffalo  robes  were  useful  for  bedding." 


254        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

How  Game  and  Pelts  Were  Preserved.  Thwaite  con- 
tinues (p.  75),  "When  an  animal  was  killed  the  hunter  skinned 
it  on  the  spot,  and  packed  on  his  back  the  hide  and  the  best 
portion  of  the  meat.  At  night  the  meat  was  smoked  or  pre- 
pared for  'jerking,'  and  the  skins  were  scraped  and  cured. 
When  collected  at  the  camps,  the  bales  of  skins,  protected 
from  the  weather  by  strips  of  bark,  Avere  placed  upon  high 
scaffolds,  secure  from  bears  and  wolves.  Our  Yadkin  hunt- 
ers were  in  the  habit,  each  day,  of  dividing  themselves  into 
pairs  for  company  and  mutual  aid  in  times  of  danger,  usually 
leaving  one  pair  behind  as  camp-keepers. "  Tow,  rammed  into 
the  barrel  of  a  "dirty"  rifle  took  the  oder  of  burnt  powder, 
and  was  hung  in  trees  near  the  fresh  meat.  This  oder  kept  off 
wolves,  wild  cats,  etc. 

The  Plott  Dogs.  The  motive  which  prompted  the  settle- 
ment of  most  of  these  mountain  counties  was  the  desire  of 
the  pioneers  to  hunt  game.  To  that  end  dogs  were  necessary, 
the  long  bodied,  long  legged,  deep  mouthed  hound  being  used 
for  deer,  and  a  sort  of  mongrel,  composed  of  cur,  bull  and 
terrier,  was  bred  for  bear.  The  Plott  dog,  called  after  the 
famous  bear  hunter,  Enos  Plott,  of  the  Balsam  mountains  of 
Haywood  county,  was  said  to  be  the  finest  bear  dogs  in  the 
State.  A  few  of  them  still  exist  and  command  large  prices. 
Although  most  of  the  settlers  were  Scotch,  collies  and  shepherd 
dogs  did  not  make  their  appearance  in  these  mountains  till 
long  after  the  Civil  War.     They  are  quite  common  now. 

When  Land  Was  Cheap.  Land  was  plentiful  in  those 
primitive  times  and  as  fast  as  a  piece  of  "new  ground"  was 
worn  out,  another  "patch"  was  cleared  and  cultivated  until 
it,  in  its  turn,  was  given  over  to  weeds  and  pasturage.  In 
all  old  American  pioneer  communities  it  was  necessary  to 
burn  the  logs  and  trunks  of  the  felled  trees  in  order  to  get  rid 
of  them,  and  the  heavens  were  often  murky  with  the  smoke  of 
burning  log-heaps.  The  most  valuable  woods  were  often  used 
for  fence  rails  or  thrown  upon  the  burning  pile  to  be  consumed 
with  the  rest.  Fences  built  of  walnut  and  poplar  rails  were 
not  uncommon.  "New  ground"  is  being  made  now  by  scien- 
tific fertilization. 

Crude  Cultivation.  The  ploughing  was  not  very  deep 
and  the  cultivation  of  the  crops  was  far  from  being  scientific. 
Yet  the  return  from  the  land  was  generally  ample,  the  seasons 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  255 

usually  proving  propitious.  There  was  one  year,  however, 
that  of  1863,  when  there  was  frost  in  every  month.  There 
was  still  another  year  in  which  there  could  not  have  been 
very  much  rain,  as  there  is  a  record  of  a  large  branch  near 
the  Sulphur  Springs  in  Buncombe  county  having  dried  up 
completely.  This  was  in  August  of  the  year  1830.  (Robert 
Henry's  Diary.) 

Unerring  Marksmen.  The  flint-lock,  long-barreled  Ken- 
tucky rifle  was  in  use  in  these  mountains  until  the  commence- 
ment of  the  Civil  War.  Game  was  abundant.  Indeed,  if  the 
modern  repeating  arms  had  been  in  use  in  those  days,  the 
game  upon  which  many  depended,  not  only  for  food  but  for 
clothing  as  well,  would  have  disappeared  long  before  it  did. 
The  fact  that  the  hunter  could  get  but  one  shot  from  his  gun 
resulted  in  making  every  Nimrod  a  sure  marksman,  as  he 
realized  that  if  he  missed  the  first  shot  the  game  would  be 
out  of  sight  and  hearing  long  before  he  could  "wipe  out"  his 
trusty  rifle,  charge  it  with  powder  and  with  his  slim  hickory 
ramrod  ram  down  the  leaden  bullet  encased  in  buckskin,  and 
"prime"  his  flint-lock  pan  with  powder. 

Useful  Peltries.  The  hams  of  the  red  deer  were  cured 
and  saved  for  market  or  winter  use,  while  the  skins  of  both 
deer  and  bears  were  "dressed"  with  the  hair  left  on  them  and 
made  into  garments  or  used  as  rugs  or  mats  for  the  children 
to  play  upon  before  the  wide  fireplace,  for  bed  coverings,  or 
cut  into  plough  lines  and  bridles,  or  made  into  moccasins. 
Out  of  the  horns  and  hoofs  of  cows  they  made  spoons  and 
buttons,  while  from  hollow  poplar  logs  they  constructed  bee- 
hives, cradles  for  their  children,  barrels  for  their  grain,  ash 
hoppers,  gums  for  their  bees  and  what  not. 

Cotton.  Small  patches  of  cotton  were  planted  and  culti- 
vated in  sandy  and  sheltered  spots  near  the  dwellings,  which 
generally  reached  maturity,  was  gathered  and  "hand-picked," 
carded  and  made  into  batting  for  quilts  and  cloaks,  or  heavy 
skirts  for  the  women  and  girls. 

Jacks  of  All  Trades.  The  men  were  necessarily  "handy" 
men  at  almost  every  trade  known  at  that  day.  They  made 
shoes,  bullets  and  powder,  built  houses,  constructed  tables, 
chairs,  cupboards,  harness,  saddles,  bridles,  buckets,  barrels, 
and  plough  stocks.  They  made  their  own  axe  and  hoe-han- 
dles, fashioned  their  own  horseshoes  and  nails  upon  the  anvil, 


256        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

burnt  wood  charcoal,  made  wagon  tires,  bolts,  nuts  and  every- 
thing that  was  needed  about  the  farm.  Some  could  even  make 
rifles,  including  the  locks,  and  Mr.  John  C.  Smathers,  now 
(1912)  86  years  old,  is  still  a  good  rock  and  brick  mason,  car- 
penter, shoemaker,  tinner,  painter,  blacksmith,  plumber,  har- 
ness and  saddle  maker,  candle  maker,  farmer,  hunter,  store- 
keeper, bee  raiser,  glazier,  butcher,  fruit  grower,  hotel-keeper, 
merchant,  physician,  poulterer,  lawyer,  rail-splitter,  politician, 
cook,  school  master,  gardener,  Bible  scholar  and  stable  man. 
He  lives  at  Turnpike,  halfway  between  Asheville  and  Waynes- 
ville,  and  brought  the  huge  trees  now  growing  in  front  of  his 
hotel  on  his  shoulders  when  they  were  saplings  and  planted 
them  where  they  now  stand,  nearly  seventy  years  ago.  He 
can  still  run  a  foot  race  and  "throw"  most  men  in  a  wrestle 
"catch  as  catch  can."  He  is  the  finest  example  of  the  old 
time  pioneer  now  alive. 

Industrious  Women.  But  it  was  the  women  who  were  the 
true  heroines  of  this  section.  The  hardships  and  constant  toil 
to  which  they  were  generally  subjected  were  blighting  and  ex- 
acting in  the  extreme.  If  their  lord  and  master  could  find 
time  to  hunt  and  fish,  go  to  the  Big  Musters,  spend  Saturdays 
loafing  or  drinking  in  the  settlement  or  about  the  country 
"stores,"  as  the  shops  were  and  still  are  called,  their  wives 
could  scarcely,  if  ever,  find  a  moment  they  could  call  their 
own.  Long  before  the  palid  dawn  came  sifting  in  through 
chink  and  window  they  were  up  and  about.  As  there  were 
no  matches  in  those  days,  the  housewife  "unkivered"  the 
coals  which  had  been  smothered  in  ashes  the  night  before  to 
be  kept  "alive"  till  morning,  and  with  "kindling"  in  one  hand 
and  a  live  coal  held  on  the  tines  of  a  steel  fork  or  between  iron 
tongs  in  the  other,  she  blew  and  blew  and  blew  till  the  splinters 
caught  fire.  Then  the  fire  was  started  and  the  water  brought 
from  the  spring,  poured  into  the  "kittle,"  and  while  it  was 
heating  the  chickens  were  fed,  the  cows  milked,  the  chil- 
dren dressed,  the  bread  made,  the  bacon  fried  and  then  coffee 
was  made  and  breakfast  was  ready.  That  over  and  the  dishes 
washed  and  put  away,  the  spinning  wheel,  the  loom  or  the 
reel  were  the  next  to  have  attention,  meanwhile  keeping  a 
sharp  look  out  for  the  children,  hawks,  keeping  the  chickens 
out  of  the  garden,  sweeping  the  floor,  making  the  beds,  churn- 
ing, sewing,  darning,  washing,  ironing,  taking  up  the  ashes, 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  257 

and  making  lye,  watching  for  the  bees  to  swarm,  keeping  the 
cat  out  of  the  milk  pans,  dosing  the  sick  children,  tying  up 
the  hurt  fingers  and  toes,  kissing  the  sore  places  well  again, 
making  soap,  robbing  the  bee  hives,  stringing  beans,  for  win- 
ter use,  working  the  garden,  planting  and  tending  a  few  hardy 
flowers  in  the  front  yard,  such  as  princess  feather,  pansies, 
sweet- Williams,  dahlias,  morning  glories;  getting  dinner,  darn- 
ing patching,  mending,  milking  again,  reading  the  Bible, 
prayers,  and  so  on  from  morning  till  night,  and  then  all  over 
again  the  next  day.  It  could  never  have  been  said  of  them 
that  they  had  "but  fed  on  roses  and  lain  in  the  lilies  of  life." 

Fashion  on  a  Back  Seat.  There  was  little  thought  of 
"finery,"  no  chance  to  display  the  latest  fashions,  few  drives 
or  rides  for  pleasure,  and  only  occasionally  a  dance,  a  quilt- 
ing party  or  a  camp  meeting.  No  wonder  the  sons  and  daugh- 
ters of  such  mothers  are  the  best  citizens  of  the  "Old  North 
State"! 

Pewter  Platters  and  Pottery.  The  early  settlers 
"burned  their  own  pottery  and  delftware, "5  but  most  of 
their  dishes  and  spoons  were  of  pewter,  though  horn  spoons 
were  also  in  evidence.  "They  made  felt  hats,  straw  hats  and 
every  other  article  of  domestic  consumption."  Most  young 
people  never  saw  a  bolster,  and  pewter  plates  are  tied  up  with 
blue  ribbons  these  days  and  hung  on  parlor  walls  as  curiosi- 
ties. 

Frontier  Kitchens  and  Utensils.6  "Dishes  and  other 
utensils  were  few — some  pewter  plates,  forks  and  spoons; 
wooden  bowls  and  trenchers,  with  gourds  and  hard-shelled 
squashes  for  drinking  mugs.  For  knife,  Boone  doubtless  used 
his  belt  weapon,  and  scorned  the  crock  plates  now  slowly 
creeping  into  the  valley,  as  calculated  to  dull  its  edge. "  .  .  . 
Grinding  corn  into  meal,  or  cracking  it  into  hominy,  were,  as 
usual  with  primitive  peoples,  tasks  involving  the  most  machin- 
ery. Rude  mortars  and  pestles,  some  of  the  latter  ingeni- 
ously worked  by  springy  "sweeps,"  were  commonly  seen;7  a 
device  something  like  a  nutmeg  grater  was  often  used  when 
the  corn  was  soft;8  two  circular  millstones,  worked  by  hand, 
were  effective,  and  there  were  some  operated  by  water  power. 

Medicine  and  Superstition.  "Medicine  was  at  a  crude 
stage,  many  of  the  so-called  cures  being  as  old  as  Egypt,  while 
others  were  borrowed  from  the  Indians.     The  borderers  firmly 

W.  N.  C— 17 


258        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

believed  in  the  existence  of  witches;  bad  dreams,  eclipses  of 
the  sun,  the  howling  of  dogs,  the  croaking  of  ravens,  were 
sure  to  bring  disasters  in  their  train."9  Teas  made  of  bur- 
dock, sassafras,  catnip,  and  other  herbs  are  still  in  use.  Lye 
poultices  were  considered  sovereign  remedies  for  wounds  and 
cuts.  Hair  bullets  shot  from  guns  against  barn  doors  were 
sure  to  drive  away  witches.  Tangled  places  in  a  horse's  mane 
or  tail  were  called  "witches'  stirrups,"  in  which  the  witches 
were  thought  to  have  placed  their  feet  when  riding  the  animals 
over  the  hills.10  Mullein  was  cultivated  for  medicine  for  horses 
and  cows. 

Nailless  Houses.  Nails  were  scarce  in  those  days  and 
saw  mills  few  and  far  between,  rendering  it  necessary  for  them 
to  use  wooden  pins  to  hold  their  ceiling  and  shelving  in  place 
and  to  rive  out  their  shingles  or  "boards"  for  their  roof  cov- 
ering and  puncheons  for  their  door  and  window  "shutters" 
and  their  flooring.  Thin  boards  or  shingles  were  held  in  posi- 
tion upon  the  roof  rafters  by  long  split  logs  tied  upon  them 
with  hickory  withes,  or  held  in  place  by  laying  heavy  stones 
upon  them.  There  is  still  standing  in  the  Smoky  mountains  a 
comfortable  cabin  of  one  large  room,  floored  and  ceiled'  on  the 
inside,  and  rain  and  wind  proof,  in  the  construction  of  which 
not  a  single  nail  was  used.  This  cabin  was  built  in  1859  and 
is  on  the  Mill  Creek  Fork  of  Noland  Creek  in  Swain  county. 

First  Houses.  A  single  room  was  as  much  as  could  be 
built  at  first,  then  followed  a  shed,  a  spring  house,  a  stable 
and  crib.  Then  would  come  the  "double"  log  house.  In 
some  of  these  houses  there  might  be  as  many  as  six  rooms, 
including  two  garret  or  loft  rooms  above  the  two  main  rooms 
of  the  house,  and  two  shed  rooms  or  lean-tos.  After  saw  mills 
became  more  general,  frame  houses  were  erected,  often  of 
from  eight  to  twelve  rooms,  with  the  kitchens  detached  from 
the  main  dwelling.  But  the  log  cabin  in  which  Abraham 
Lincoln  was  born,  and  now  enshrined  in  a  marble  palace  at 
Hogdensville,  Ky.,  is  a  fair  sample  of  the  average  home  of 
pioneer  days. 

"Chinked  and  Dobbed."  The  walls  of  these  log  houses 
were  "chinked  and  daubed."  That  is,  the  spaces  between 
the  logs  were  filled  with  blocks  or  scraps  of  wood  and  the 
interstices  left  were  filled  with  plain,  undisguised  mud — lime 
being  too  expensive  to  be  used  for  that  purpose. 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  259 

The  Great  "War  Governor's"  Home.  The  house  in 
which  Hon.  Zebulon  Baird  Vance,  the  great  War  Governor 
and  statesman  of  the  Old  North  State  lived  for  many  years 
is  on  Reems  Creek  in  Buncombe  county.  It  consisted  of  a 
single  large  room  below  and  a  garret  or  loft  above,  reached  by 
rude  stairs,  almost  a  ladder,  running  up  in  one  corner  near  the 
chimney.  There  was  also  a  shed  room  attached  to  the  rear 
of  this  house.  Some  of  us  are  quite  " swagger"  nowadays, 
but  we  are  all  proud  of  our  log-cabin  ancestry. 

Unglazed  Windows.  Windows,  as  a  rule,  were  scarce. 
The  difficulty  and  expense  of  glazing  them  were  so  great  as 
to  preclude  the  use  of  many.  Most  of  those  which  found 
place  in  the  walls  of  the  house  were  made  by  removing  about 
18  inches  from  one  of  the  wide  logs  running  the  length  of  the 
house  and  usually  opposite  the  huge  fire  place.  It  rarely  con- 
tained any  sash  or  glass  and  was  closed  by  a  sliding  shutter 
running  in  grooves  inside  the  wall.  It  was  rare  that  upstairs 
or  loft  rooms  contained  any  windows  at  all. 

Primitive  Portiers.  Privacy  was  obtained  by  hanging 
sheets  or  counterpanes  from  the  overhead  sleepers  or  "jists," 
as  the  joists  were  almost  universally  called.  Behind  these 
screens  the  women  and  girls  dressed  when  "men  folks"  were 
present,  though  their  ablutions  were  usually  performed  at  the 
"spout"  or  spring,  or  in  the  room  after  the  male  element  had 
gone  to  their  work.  Sometimes  a  board  partition  divided  the 
large  down-stairs  room  into  two,  but  as  this  made  a  very  dark 
and  ill-ventilated  bedroom  far  removed  from  the  light  of  the 
front  and  back  doors  and  cut  off  from  the  heat  of  the  fire 
place,  this  division  was  not  popular  or  general. 

The  Living  Room.  Usually,  in  more  primitive  days,  the 
beds,  mostly  of  feathers,  were  ranged  round  the  room,  leav- 
ing a  large  open  space  in  the  middle.  The  dining  table  stood 
there  or  against  a'  wall  near  the  fireplace.  The  hearth  was 
wide  and  projected  into  the  room  two  feet  or  more.  A  crane 
swung  from  the  back  of  the  chimney  on  which  pots  were  hung 
from  "pot  hooks," — familiar  to  beginners  in  writing  lessons — 
and  the  ovens  were  placed  on  live  coals  while  their  lids,  or 
as  they  were  generally  called  "leds, "  were  covered  with  other 
live  coals  and  left  on  the  broad  hearth.  In  the  kitchen  of  the 
old  Mitchell  Alexander  hotel  or  "Cattle  stand,"  eleven  miles 
below  Asheville  on  the  French  Broad,  there  is  still  standing 


260        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

and  in  daily  use  a  deep  old  fireplace  ten  feet  wide,  the  hearth 
of  which  projects  into  the  room  eight  or  nine  feet.  The  water 
bucket  with  a  curved  handled  gourd  stood  on  a  shelf  just 
inside  the  door.  Usually  there  was  no  wash  pan,  the  branch 
or  spout  near  by  being  deemed  sufficient  for  all  purposes.  A 
comb  in  a  box  under  a  small  and  imperfect  looking-glass  was 
usually  hung  on  the  wall  over  the  water  bucket.  Around  the 
walls  behind  the  beds  on  pegs  were  hung  the  skirts  of  the 
girls  and  women;  and,  if  the  men  of  the  house  owned  any 
extra  coats  or  trousers,  they  hung  there,  too.  On  the  tops  of 
boxes  or  trunks,  usually  called  "chists,"  were  folded  and  piled 
in  neat  order  the  extra  quilts,  sheets  and  counterpanes.  Some 
of  these  counterpanes  or  "coverlids"  were  marvels  of  skill 
and  beauty  in  color  and  design  and  all  were  woven  in  the 
loom  which  stood  at  one  end  of  the  porch  or  shed  in  front  of 
the  house.  There  was  also  a  wooden  cupboard  nailed  against 
the  wall  which  contained  racks  for  the  plates  and  dishes. 
Beneath  this  was  a  place  for  the  pots  and  pans,  after  the  cook- 
ing was  over. 

Where  Colonial  Art  Survives.11  Mrs.  Eliza  Calvert 
Hall  has  discovered  recently  that  "in  the  remote  mountains 
of  the  South,  where  civilization  has  apparnetly  stood  still  ever 
since  the  colonial  pioneers  built  their  homes  there,"  they  still 
make  coverlets  that  are  rich  "in  texture  and  coloring;"  and 
are  "real  works  of  art."  Of  course  we  are  also  told  that  this 
art  was  first  brought  to  America  through  New  England;  but  she 
fails  to  state  that  it  was  also  brought  to  Philadelphia,  Charles- 
ton and  every  other  American  port  through  which  English, 
Scotch  or  Irish  women  were  admitted  to  America.  That  it 
has  perished  everywhere  else,  and  still  survives  among  us, 
might  indicate  that  civilization  instead  of  having  stood  still, 
in  the  mountains  has  at  least  held  its  own  there,  while  it  has 
receded  in  New  England.  That,  however,  is  immaterial.  Cer- 
tain it  is  that  Mrs.  Finley  Mast  of  Valle  Crucis  is  now  at 
work  on  an  order  from  President  Wilson,  and  expects  soon  to 
see  specimens  of  her  handiwork  in  the  White  House  of  the 
nation. 

Slanders  by  the  "unco'  Guid."  Because  in  the  spring  of 
1912  the  Allen  family  of  the  mountains  of  Virginia  "shot  up" 
the  court  at  Hillville,  the  entire  "contemporary  mountaineer" 
is  condemned  as  resenting  "the  law's  intrusion,"  partly,  per- 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  261 


haps,  because  he  himself  enjoys  few  of  the  benefits  of  civilized 
society.12  We  regret  the  ignorance  of  this  self-styled  "national 
weekly"  and  others  who  defame  us,  and  in  view  of  the  exploits 
of  the  "gunmen"  of  Broadway  a  few  months  later13  recall 
with  complacency  the  louse  that  gave  occasion  for  that  im- 
mortal prayer  :  "Oh,  wad  some  power  the  giftie  gie  us  to 
see  ourselves  as  others  see  us."  Little  of  good  about  the 
mountain  whites  is  ever  published  North  of  Mason  and  Dixon's 
line.  The  Watauga  Democrat  of  July  10,  1913,  records  the  fact 
that  a  few  days  before  a  journalist  of  New  Canaan,  Conn., 
and  a  photographer  and  illustrator  of  New  York,  had  visited 
Boone,  and  that  they  had  distinctly  stated  that  their  sole 
object  in  visiting  these  mountains  was  to  look  up  "the  des- 
titution, ignorance  and  vice  among  the  mountain  whites." 
They  were  surprised  to  learn  that  the  Applachian  Training 
School  was  located  in  Boone,  and  wanted  no  facts  as  to  the 
good  it  was  accomplishing.  Their  names  were  stated  in  the 
Democrat.  In  "The  Child  That  Toileth  Not,"  Thomas  R. 
Dawley,  Jr.,  (1912)  has  presented  many  photographs  of  the 
most  destitute  and  degenerate  of  the  mountain  population, 
ignoring  the  splendid  specimens  of  health  and  prosperity  he 
met  every  day.  About  1905  a  "lady"  from  New  York  had 
two  photographs  taken  of  the  same  children  at  Blowing  Rock. 
In  the^first  they  were  dressed  in  rags  and  outlandish  clothing; 
in  the  second,  they  wore  most  tasteful  and  becoming  garb. 
She  labeled  the  first  "Before  I  Began,"  and  the  second,  "After 
Three  Weeks  of  Uplift  Work."  She  had  offered  a  prize  to 
the  child  who  should  appear  for  the  first  picture  in  the  worst 
clothing,  and  another  prize  for  the  child  who  should  dress 
most  becomingly  for  the  second.  The  work  of  Miss  Prudden 
and  of  Miss  Florence  Stephenson  is  appreciated  by  us;  but 
our  slanderers  only  make  our  blood  boil.  For,  in  the  Outlook 
for  April  26,  1913,  appeared  "The  Case  of  Lura  Sylva,  "show- 
ing the  filth,  destitution,  depravity  and  degrading  surround- 
ings of  a  twelve-year-old  girl  "which"  we  are  told  is  "not  an 
unusual"  story  of  similar  conditions  "in  a  prosperous  farming 
community  of  the  Hudson  river  valley."  Nothing  worse  has 
ever  been  written  of  any  of  the  "mountain  whites"  than  is 
there  recorded  of  this  girl.  Let  your  charity  begin  at  your 
own  home.  Charles  Dudley  Warner  made  a  horseback  trip 
from  Abingdon,  Va.,  to  Asheville  in  August,  1884.     He  saw 


262        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

absolutely  nothing  on  that  trip  which  he  could  commend. 
("On  horseback,"  1889)  except  two  pianos  he  found  in  the 
home  of  the  Worths  at  Creston.  He  was,  however,  lavish 
with  his  fault  finding. 

Every  Home  a  Factory.  Manufacture  means  hand-made. 
Therefore,  since  few  homes  manufacture  anything  today,  we 
have  made  no  progress  in  manufactures,  but  have  receded 
from  the  time  when  every  home  was  a  factory.  We  have 
instead  simply  adopted  machinery  and  built  factories. 

Some  Lost  Arts.  Those  who  never  lived  in  a  mountain- 
ous country  are  often  surprised  at  the  sight  of  what  we  call 
sleds,  slides  or  sledges,  made  of  the  bodies  of  small  trees  with 
crooked  ends,  turning  upward  like  those  of  sleigh  runners, 
though  much  more  slumsy  and  heavy.  As  these  runners  wore 
down  they  were  "shod"  by  tacking  split  saplings  under  them. 
Sleds  can  be  hauled  on  steep  hill-sides  where  wheeled  vehicles 
would  turn  over  or  get  beyond  control  going  down  hill.  Our 
"Union"  carpenters  of  this  day  could  not  build  a  house  with 
the  materials  and  tools  of  their  pioneer  ancestors,  nearly  all 
of  whom  were  carpenters.  Modern  carpenters  would  not 
know  what  "cracking"  a  log  was,  for  instance;  and  yet,  the 
pioneer  artizans  of  old  had  to  make  their  boards  by  that 
method.  It  consisted  in  driving  the  blade  of  an  ax  or  hatchet 
into  the  small  end  of  a  log  by  means  of  a  maul,  and  inserting 
wooden  wedges,  called  "gluts."  On  either  side  of  this  first 
central  "crack"  another  crack  was  made,  and  gluts  placed 
therein.  There  were  usually  two  gluts  placed  in  each  crack 
and  each  was  tapped  in  turn,  thus  splitting  the  log  uniformly. 
These  two  riven  pieces  were  next  placed  in  "snatch-blocks," 
which  were  two  parallel  logs  into  which  notches  had  been  cut 
deep  enough  to  hold  the  ends  of  these  pieces,  which  were  held 
in  position  with  "keys"  or  wedges.  The  upper  side  of  this 
riven  piece  was  then  "scored"  with  a  broad  ax  and  then 
"dressed"  with  the  same  tool,  the  under  edges  being  beveled. 
The  length  of  these  pieces,  now  become  puncheons,  was  usu- 
ally half  the  length  of  the  floor  to  be  covered,  the  two  ends 
resting  on  the  sleeper  running  across  the  middle  of  the  room. 
The  beveled  edges  were  placed  as  near  together  as  possible, 
after  which  a  saw  was  run  between  them,  thus  reducing  the 
uneven  edges  so  that  they  came  snugly  together,  and  were  air 
tight  when  pinned  into  place  with  wooden  pegs  driven  through 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  263 

augur-holes  into  the  sills  and  sleepers.  Hewed  logs  were  first 
"scalped,"  that  is  the  bark  was  removed  with  an  ax,  after 
which  the  trunk  was  "lined"  with  a  woolen  cord  dipped  in 
moist  charcoal,  powdered,  which  had  been  made  from  locust 
bark.  This  corresponded  to  what  is  now  called  a  chalk-line. 
Then  four  of  these  lines  were  made  down  the  length  of  the 
log,  each  pair  being  as  far  apart  as  the  hewed  log  was  to  be 
thick — usually  four  to  six  inches — one  pair  being  above  and 
the  other  pair  below;  after  which  the  log  was  "blocked"  with 
an  ax,  by  cutting  deep  notches  on  each  side  about  four  feet 
apart.  These  sections  were  then  split  from  the  sides  of  the 
log,  thus  reducing  its  thickness  to  nearly  that  desired.  Then 
these  sides  were  "scored"  and  then  dressed  till  they  were 
smooth.  The  block  on  which  the  "Liberty  Bell"  of  Phila- 
delphia rests  still  shows  this  "scoring,"  or  hacks  made  by  the 
broad-ax.  Houses  were  framed  on  the  ground  by  cutting  the 
ends  of  the  logs  into  notches  called  "saddles"  which,  when 
placed  in  position,  fitted  like  joiner  work — each  log  having 
been  numbered  while  still  on  the  ground.  When  the  logs 
were  being  placed  in  position  they  were  lifted  into  place  on 
the  higher  courses  by  means  of  what  were  called  "bull's-eyes." 
These  were  made  of  hickory  saplings  whose  branches  had  been 
plaited  into  rings  and  then  slipped  over  the  logs,  their  stems 
serving  as  handles  for  pulling,  etc. 

Roofing  Log  Houses.  Modern  carpenters  would  be  puz- 
zled to  roof  a  house  without  nails  or  shingles  or  scantling;  but 
their  forbears  accomplished  this  seemingly  impossible  task 
with  neatness  and  dispatch.  After  the  main  frame  or  "pen"  of 
the  house  was  up,  two  parallel  poles  were  laid  along  and  above 
the  top  logs,  and  "gable"  logs  were  placed  under  these,  the 
gable  logs  being  shorter  than  the  end  logs  of  the  house.  This 
was  continued  till  the  gable  end  was  reached,  when  the  "ridge 
pole"  was  placed  in  position,  being  held  there  with  pegs  or 
pins.  The  frame  of  the  roof  was  now  ready,  and  "boards," 
or  rough  shingles  were  riven  from  the  "blocks"  or  sections  of 
chestnut,  poplar  or  white  oak,  though  the  latter  would  "cup" 
or  twist  into  a  curved  shape  if  "laid"  in  the  "light"  of  the 
moon.  The  lower  ends  of  the  lowest  row  of  "boards"  rested 
against  the  flat  side  of  a  split  log,  called  the  "butting  pole," 
because  the  boards  butted  upon  it.  Upon  the  lower  row  of 
boards,  which  were  doubled  in  order  to  cover  the  cracks  in 


264        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

the  under  tier,  a  single  row  of  boards  was  then  laid,  the  first 
row  being  held  in  place  by  a  split  log  laid  on  them  and  made 
fast  by  pegs  driven  through  their  ends  and  into  the  ends  of 
the  poles  under  the  boards.  These  were  also  supported  by 
"knees."  The  various  pieces  of  roofing  were  called  eve- 
bearers,  rib-poles,  weight  poles,  etc.,  etc. 

Tanning  Hides  and  Making  Shoes.  According  to  Col. 
W.  L.  Bryan,  every  farmer  had  his  tan-trough,  which  was 
an  excavation  dug  out  of  a  poplar  or  chestnut  log  of  large 
size,  while  some  had  two  troughs  in  one  log,  separated  by 
leaving  a  division  of  the  log  in  place.  Into  these  troughs 
ashes  or  lime  was  placed,  diluted  with  water.  Skins  should 
always  be  salted  and  folded  together  a  few  days  till  all  the 
blood  has  been  drawn  out;  but  salt  was  high  and  scarce, 
and  this  process  was  often  omitted.  When  "green"  hides 
were  to  be  tanned  at  once,  they  were  first  "fleshed,"  by 
being  placed  on  the  "fleshing  block"  and  scraped  with  a 
fleshing  knife — one  having  a  rounded  edge.  This  block  was 
a  log  with  the  upper  surface  rounded,  the  lower  end  rest- 
ing on  the  ground  and  the  upper  end,  supported  on  pegs, 
reaching  to  a  man's  waist.  Fleshing  consisted  in  scraping 
as  much  of  the  fat  and  blood  out  of  the  hide  as  possible. 
When  hides  were  to  be  dried  before  being  tanned,  they 
were  hung  lengthwise  on  poles,  with  the  flesh  side  upper- 
most, and  left  under  shelter  till  dry  and  hard.  Hair  was 
removed  from  green  and  dry  hides  alike  by  soaking  them  in 
the  tan-trough  in  a  solution  of  lime  or  wood  ashes  till  the 
hair  would  "slip" — that  is,  come  off  easily.  They  were  then 
soaked  till  all  the  lime  or  ashes  had  been  removed,  after  which 
they  were  placed  again  on  the  fleshing  bench  and  "broken"  or 
made  pliable,  with  a  breaking-knife.  They  then  went  into 
the  tan-trough,  after  having  been  split  lengthwise  into  two 
parts,  each  of  which  was  called  a  "side."  The  bottom  of 
the  tan-trough  was  lined  with  a  layer  of  bark,  after  which  a 
fold  of  a  "side"  was  placed  on  the  bark  and  another  layer  of 
bark  placed  above  the  upper  fold  of  the  side;  then  the  side 
was  folded  back  again  and  another  layer  of  bark  placed  on 
it,  and  so  on  till  the  tan-trough  had  been  filled.  Then  water 
was  turned  or  poured  in,  and  the  mass  allowed  to  remain  two 
months,  after  which  time  the  bark  and  water  were  renewed 
in  the  same  manner  as  before.     This  in  turn  remained  another 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  265 

two  months,  when  the  bark  and  water  were  again  renewed. 
Two  months  longer  completed  the  process,  making  six  months 
in  all.  This  was  called  "the  cold-ooze"  process,  and  while  it 
required  a  much  longer  time  it  made  better  leather  than  the 
present  hot-ooze  process,  which  cooks  and  injures  the  leather. 
The  hide  of  every  animal  bearing  fur  is  thicker  along  the 
back-bone  than  elsewhere,  and  after  the  tanning  process  this 
was  cut  off  for  sole  leather,  while  the  rest  was  blacked  for 
"uppers,"  etc.  The  under  side  of  the  thin  or  "uppers" 
leather  was  then  "curried"  with  a  knife,  thus  making  it  as 
smooth  as  the  upper  side.  Sole  leather,  however,  was  not 
curried  ordinarily.  "Buffing"  was  the  removal  of  the  "grain" 
or  upper  surface  of  the  hide  after  it  had  been  tanned,  thus 
making  both  sides  alike.  Smaller  skins  were  tanned  in  the 
same  way,  and  those  of  dogs,  coons,  ground  hogs,  etc.,  were 
used  for  "whang"  leather — that  is,  they  were  cut  into  strings 
for  sewing  other  leather  with.  Horse  collars,  harness  and 
moccasins  thus  joined  will  outlast  those  sewed  with  thread. 
The  more  valuable  hides  of  smaller  animals  were  removed 
from  the  carcass  without  being  split  open,  and  were  then 
called  "cased"  hides.  This  was  done  by  splitting  open  the 
hind  legs  to  the  body  and  then  pulling  the  skins  from  the 
carcass,  fore  legs  and  head,  after  which  they  were  "stretched" 
by  inserting  a  board  or  sticks  inside,  now  the  fur-side,  and 
hanging  them  up  "in  the  dry"  till  dried.  Other  less  valu- 
able skins  were  stretched  by  means  of  sticks  being  stuck  into 
the  four  "corners"  of  the  hide,  tacked  to  the  walls  of  the 
houses  under  the  eaves  and  allowed  to  dry.  The  women 
made  moccasins  for  the  children  by  doubling  the  tanned  deer 
skin  along  the  back,  laying  a  child's  stocking  along  it  so  that 
the  sole  of  the  stocking  was  parallel  with  the  fold  in  the  skin, 
and  then  marking  around  the  outline  of  the  stocking,  after 
which  the  skin,  still  doubled,  was  cut  out  around  the  out- 
line, sewed  together  with  "whang"  leather",  placed  on  a  last 
till  it  was  "shaped,"  after  which  it  was  ready  for  wear.  The 
new  moon  in  June  was  the  best  time  for  taking  the  bark  from 
trees.  White  and  chestnut  oak  bark  was  preferred,  the  outer 
or  rough  part  of  the  bark  having  been  first  removed  with  a 
drawing  knife,  which  process  was  called  "scurfing"  or  "scruf- 
fing. "  The  bark  was  then  piled,  inside  up,  under  shelter,  and 
allowed   to   dry.     Among   the   personal   effects   of   Abraham 


266        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Lincoln's  grandfather  were  "a  drawing-knife,  a  currying- 
knife,  and  a  currier's  knife  and  barking  iron."14  Lime  was 
scarce  in  most  localities  in  this  section,  and  ashes  were  used 
instead.  Every  deer's  head  was  said  to  have  enough  brains 
to  "dress"  its  hide.15  The  brains  were  rubbed  into  the  hair 
of  the  hide,  after  which  the  hide  was  folded  together  till  the 
hair  would  "slip,"  when  the  hide  was  placed  in  the  tan- 
trough  and  tanned,  the  brains  thus  taking  the  place  of  lime 
or  ashes.     After  vats  came  in  bark  mills  came  also. 

Elizabethan  English?  Writers  who  think  they  know, 
have  said  that  our  people  have  been  sequestered  in  these 
mountains  so  long  that  they  speak  the  language  of  Shake- 
speare and  of  Chaucer.  It  is  certain  that  we  sometimes  say 
"hit"  for  it  and  "taken"  for  took;  that  we  also  say  "plague" 
for  tease,  and  when  we  are  willing,  we  say  we  are  "consent- 
able."  If  we  are  asked  if  we  "care  for  a  piece  of  pie,"  we 
say  "yes,"  if  we  wish  to  be  helped  to  some;  and  if  we  are 
invited  to  accompany  anyone  and  wish  to  do  so,  we  almost 
invariably  say  "I  wouldn't  care  to  go  along,"  meaning  we  do 
not  object.  We  also  say  "haint"  for  "am  not"  "are  not"  and 
"have  not,"  and  we  invite  you  to  "light"  if  you  are  riding  or 
driving.  We  "pack"  our  loads  in  "pokes,"  and  "reckon  we 
can't"  if  invited  "to  go  a  piece"  with  a  passerby,  when  both 
he  and  we  know  perfectly  well  that  we  can  if  we  will.  Chaucer 
and  Shakespeare  may  have  used  these  expressions  :  we  do  not 
know.  We  are  absolutely  certain,  though,  that  "molases"  is  as 
plural  as  measles;  and  ask  to  be  helped  to  "them"  just  as  con- 
fident that  we  shall  be  understood  as  people  of  greater  cul- 
ture hope  their  children  will  soon  recover  from  or  altogether 
escape  "them,"  meaning  only  one  thing,  the  measles.  Though 
we  generally  say  we  "haven't  saw,"  it  is  the  rarest  thing  in 
the  world  when  we  do  things  "we  hadn't  ought  to,"  and  we 
never  express  surprise  or  interest  by  exclaiming,  "Well,  I 
want  to  know."  On  the  other  hand  we  have  Webster  for 
our  authority  that  "hit"  is  the  Saxon  for  it;  and  we  know 
ourselves  that  "taken"  is  more  regular  that  "took";  Webster 
also  gives  us  the  primary  meaning  of  "plague":  anything 
troublesome  or  vexatious;  but  in  this  sense  applied  to  the 
vexations  we  suffer  from  men,  and  not  to  the  unavoidable 
evils  inflicted  on  us  by  divine  providence;  while  "tease" 
means  to  comb  or  card,  as  wool;  to  scratch,  as  cloth  in  dress- 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  267 

ing,  for  the  purpose  of  raising  a  nap;  and  to  vex  with  impor- 
tunity or  impertinence."  Surely  one  may  be  in  a  mood  or 
condition  of  consent,  and  when  so,  why  is  not  he  "consent- 
able"?  Webster  also  says  that  "care"  means  "to  be  inclined 
or  disposed;  to  have  regard  to;  with  "for"  before  a  noun,  and 
"to"  before  a  verb;"  while  "alight"  is  "to  get  down  or  descend, 
as  from  horseback  or  from  a  carriage,"  the  very  sense  in  which 
we  invariably  use  it,  our  only  fault  consisting  in  keeping  the 
"a"  silent.  Webster  does  not  authorize  the  use  of  "pack" 
as  a  verb  transitive,  in  the  sense  of  bearing  a  burden,  but  he 
gives  "burden  or  load"  as  the  meaning  of  the  noun  "pack"; 
while  a  "poke"  is  "a  pocket;  a  small  bag;  as,  a  pig  in  a  poke." 
A  "piece"  is  a  fragment  or  "part  of  anything,  though  not 
separated,  or  separated  only  in  idea,"  in  which  sense  going 
"a  piece"  (of  the  way,  understood)  is  quite  intelligible  to 
some  of  us  who  do  not  know  our  letters.  Being,  in  our  own 
estimation,  at  least,  "as  well  as  common,"  in  this  respect  as 
in  many  others," we  still  manage  to  understand  and  to  be 
understood";  and  claim  that  when  we  "want  in,"  we  gener- 
ally manage  to  "get"  in,  whether  we  say  "get"  or  not.  Still, 
in  these  respects,  we  may  "mend,"  not  improve;  and  who 
shall  say  that  our  "mend"  is  not  a  simpler,  sweeter  and  more 
significant  word  than  "improve"?  But  we  do  mispronounce 
many  words,  among  which  is  "gardeen"  for  guardian,  "col- 
ume"  for  column,  and  "pint"  for  point.  The  late  Sam  Lovin 
of  Graham  was  told  that  it  was  improper  to  say  Rocky 
"Pint,"  as  its  true  name  is  "Point."  When  next  he  went  to 
Asheville  he  asked  for  a  "point"  of  whiskey.  We  even  take 
our  mispronounciation  to  proper  names,  and  call  Metcalf 
"Madcap";  Pennell  "Pinion";  Pilkington  "Pilkey";  Cutbirth 
"Cutbaird";  Mast  "Moss";  Presnell  "Pressly";  Moretz 
"Morris";  and  Morphew  "Murphey."  "Mashed,  mum- 
micked  and  hawged  up, "  means  worlds  to  most  of  us.  Finally, 
most  of  us  are  of  the  opinion  of  the  late  Andrew  Jackson, 
who  thought  that  one  who  could  spell  a  word  in  only  one 
way  was  a  "mighty  po'  excuse  for  a  full  grown  man." 

Horse  Trading.16  "It  is  an  interesting  sight  to  watch 
the  proceedings  of  a  shooting-match.  If  it  is  to  be  in  the 
afternoon,  the  long  open  space  beside  the  creek,  and  within 
the  circle  of  chestnut  trees,  where  the  shooting  is  to  be  done, 
is  empty;  but,  just  as  the  shadow  of  the  sun  is  shortest,  they 


268        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

begin  to  assemble.  Some  of  them  come  on  foot;  others  in 
wagons,  or,  as  is  most  generally  the  case,  on  horseback  gal- 
loping along  through  the  woods.  The  long-haired  denizen  of 
the  hidden  mountain  cove  drops  in,  with  his  dog  at  his  heels. 
The  young  blacksmith,  in  his  sooty  shirt-sleeves,  walks  over 
from  his  way-side  forge.  The  urchins  who,  with  their  fish- 
rods,  haunt  the  banks  of  the  brook,  are  gathered  in  as  great 
force  as  their  " daddies"  and  elder  brothers. 

"A  unique  character,  who  frequently  mingles  with  the 
crowd,  is  the  mat'ral-born  hoss-swopper.'  He  has  a  keen  eye 
to  see  at  a  glance  the  defects  and  perfections  of  horse  or  mule 
(in  his  own  opinion),  and  always  carries  the  air  of  a  man  who 
feels  a  sort  of  superiority  over  his  fellow  men.  At  a  prancing 
gait,  he  rides  the  result  of  his  last  sharp  bargain,  into  the 
group,  and  keeps  his  saddle,  with  the  neck  of  his  horse  well 
arched,  by  means  of  the  curb-bit,  until  another  mountaineer, 
with  like  trading  propensities,  strides  up  to  him,  and  claps 
his  hand  on  the  horse's  mane. 

"An  examination  on  the  part  of  both  swappers  always 
results  in  a  trade,  boot  being  frequently  given.  A  chance  to 
make  a  change  in  horseflesh  is  never  let  slip  by  a  natural- 
born  trader.  The  life  of  his  business  consists  in  quick  and 
frequent  bargains;  and  at  the  end  of  a  busy  month  he  is  either 
mounted  on  a  good  saddle  horse,  or  is  reduced  to  an  old  rack, 
blind  and  lame.  The  result  will  be  due  to  the  shrewdness  or 
dullness  of  the  men  he  dealt  with,  or  the  unexpected  sickness 
on  his  hands  of  what  was  considered  a  sound  animal." 

Frolics.17  The  banjo  and  the  fiddle  have  been  as  con- 
stant companions  of  the  pioneers  of  the  mountains  of  North 
Carolina  as  the  Bible  and  the  Hymn  Book.  The  country 
"frolics"  or  "hoe-downs",  were  necessarily  less  recherche 
than  the  dances,  hops  and  germans  of  the  present  day,  for, 
as  a  rule,  the  dancing  had  to  take  place  on  the  uneven  punch- 
eon floors  and  in  a  very  restricted  space,  often  procured  by 
the  removal  of  the  furniture  of  the  kitchen  or  bed  room,  for 
usually  a  dwelling  rarely  had  more  than  these  two  apart- 
ments, in  the  earlier  days. 

Poor  Illumination.  Owing  to  the  fact  that  kerosene  was 
unknown  in  the  pioneer  days,  there  was  but  poor  illumination 
for  those  little  mountain  homes,  generally  consisting  of  but 
one  large  room  and  a  shed  or  lean-to  in  the  rear.     Tin  candle 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  269 

molds  and  heavy  wicks  were  used  with  the  tallow  of  beeves 
and  deer  for  making  of  candles,  which  gave  but  a  poor  light. 
Bear's  oil  in  a  saucer,  with  a  spun  cotton  thread  wick  also 
served  to  light  the  houses.  As  there  were  only  a  few  books, 
the  early  settlers  did  not  feel  the  want  of  good  lights  as  much 
as  we  would  at  this  time.  So,  when  the  days  grew  short  and 
the  nights  long,  our  forbears  usually  retired  to  their  beds  soon 
after  dark,  which  meant  almost  fourteen  hours  in  bed  if  they 
waited  for  daylight.  But,  usually,  they  did  not  wait  for  it, 
arising  long  before  the  sun  came  above  the  horizon,  building- 
huge  fires  and  beginning  the  day  by  the  light  of  the  blazing 
logs. 

This  is  one  reason  so  many  of  those  people  saw  the  "falling 
of  the  stars"  on  the  early  morning  of  the  thirteenth  of  Novem- 
ber, 1833.  Twenty  years  ago  there  were  still  living  scores  of 
people  who  witnessed  this  extraordinary  and  fearful  sight. 

Danger  from  Wild  Animals.  Panthers,  wild  cats,  wolves 
and  bear  were  the  most  troublesome  depredators  and  they 
were  the  means  of  much  serious  damage  to  the  stock  of  the 
settlers,  most  of  which  was  driven  to  the  mountain  ranges, 
where  luxuriant  grasses  abounded  from  May  till  October. 
Colts,  calves  and  pigs  were  frequently  attacked  and  destroyed 
by  these  "varmints,"  as  the  settlers  called  them.  But  while 
there  was  little  or  no  danger  to  human  beings  from  these  ani- 
mals, the  black  bear  being  a  notorious  coward,  unless  hemmed 
up,  the  "women  folk"  were  "pestered"  by  the  beautiful  and, 
on  occasion,  malodorous  pole-cat  or  skunk,  the  thieving  o'pos- 
sum,  the  mink,  weasel,  etc.,  which  robbed  the  chicken  roosts 
after  dark.  Moles  and  chipmunks,  also  destroyed  their  "gar- 
den truck"  in  early  summer,  while  hawks  and  eagles  played 
havoc  with  their  fowls,  and  crows  pulled  up  the  young  corn 
and  small  grain  which  had  not  been  sown  deep  enough. 

The  Original  "Houn  Dawg."  Hounds  were  the  princi- 
pal breed  of  dogs  employed  by  the  pioneer.  Crossed  with  the 
more  savage  species,  the  hound  also  made  a  good  bear  dog, 
and  the  Plott  bear  dogs  were  famous  in  the  pursuit  of  Bruin. 
Some  settlers  kept  a  pack  of  ten  or  fifteen  hounds  for  deer 
dogs. 

The  Dark  Side  of  the  Cloud.  But  from  Thwaite's 
"Daniel  Boone"  we  gather  much  that  robs  the  apparent 
charm    of    pioneer    life    of    something    of    its    attractiveness. 


270        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

"Among  the  outlying  settlers,  much  of  the  family  food  came 
from  the  woods,  and  often  months  would  pass  without  bread 
being  seen  inside  the  cabin  walls"  (p.  58).  "For  head  cov- 
ering, the  favorite  was  a  soft  cap  of  coon-skin,  with  the  bushy 
tail  dangling  behind;  but  Boone  himself  despised  this  gear, 
and  always  wore  a  hat.  The  women  wore  huge  sunbonnets 
and  loose  gowns  of  homemade  cloth;  they  generally  went 
barefoot  in  summer,  but  wore  moccasins  in  winter"  (p.  29). 
These  moccasins  were  "soft  and  pliant,  but  cold  in  winter, 
even  when  stuffed  with  deer's  hair  and  leaves,  and  so  spongy 
as  to  be  no  protection  against  wet  feet,  which  made  every 
hunter  an  early  victim  to  rheumatism."  That  many  prison- 
ers were  massacred  is  also  an  evidence  of  the  harshness  of 
these  times. 

Touchstone  and  Terpsichore.  There  were  shooting 
matches  at  which  a  young  steer  was  divided  and  shot  for, 
foot  races,  wrestling  bouts,  camp-meetings,  log-rollings,  house- 
raisings  and  the  "Big  Musters"  where  cider  and  ginger  cakes 
were  sold,  which  drew  the  people  together  and  promoted  social 
intercourse,  as  well  as  the  usual  religious  gatherings  at  the 
"church  houses."  Singing  classes  and  Sunday  Schools,  now 
so  common,  were  not  at  first  known  in  these  mountains,  and, 
indeed,  even  Sunday  Schools  are  of  comparatively  recent  origin. 
When  a  young  couple  were  married  they  were  usually  sere- 
naded with  cow  horns,  tin  pans  and  other  unearthly  noises. 
This  is  still  the  custom  in  many  parts  of  the  mountains.  Agri- 
cultural fairs  were  unknown  in  the  olden  days.  Horse-racing 
over  ordinary  roads,  horse-swapping  and  good  natured  con- 
tests of  strength  among  the  men  were  also  in  vogue  generally. 

Before  the  Days  of  "Bridge."  Among  the  women  and 
girls  there  were  spinning,  carding,  reeling  and  knitting  matches, 
and  sometimes  a  weaving  match. 1 8  Quilting  parties  were 
very  common,  and,  indeed,  the  quilting  frame  can  still  be 
observed  in  many  a  mountain  house,  suspended  from  the 
ceiling  above,  even  in  the  modern  parlor  or  company  room. 
All  sorts  of  superstitions  attended  a  quilting — the  first  stitch 
given  being  usually  emblematic  of  the  marriage  of  the  one 
making  it  and  the  last  of  the  death  of  the  person  so  unfor- 
tunate as  to  have  that  distinction.  Of  course  the  coverlid  or 
top  of  the  quilt,  usually  a  patchwork  of  bright  scraps  of  cloth 
carefully  hoarded  and  gathered  from  all  quarters,  had  been 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  271 

prepared  in  advance  of  the  gathering  of  the  quilting  party, 
and  the  quilting  consisted  in  spreading  it  above  the  wool  or 
cotton  rolls  spread  uniformly  on  a  white  cloth  and  stitching 
the  upper  and  lower  cloths  together.  Hence  the  great  con- 
venience of  the  quilting  frame  which  held  the  quilt  and  was 
lowered  to  a  point  about  waist  high. 

The  "Causus  Belli."  At  school  it  was  customary  for  the 
larger  boys  to  bar  the  teacher  out  when  a  holiday  was  ardently 
desired.  This  was  accomplished  by  placing  themselves  inside 
the  school  room  and  barring  the  door  by  placing  the  rude  and 
backless  benches  against  it  and  refusing  to  remove  them.  As 
there  was  but  one  door  and  no  windows  the  teacher  was  help- 
less, and,  after  threatening  and  bullying  for  a  time,  usually  left 
the  boys  in  possession  of  the  school  house  till  the  following 
day,  when  no  one  was  punished.  For  anyone,  be  he  friend  or 
foe,  but  especially  a  stranger  to  holler  "school  butter"  near  a 
school  was  to  invite  every  urchin  to  rush  from  the  room;  and 
the  offender  had  either  to  treat  the  scholars  or  be  soundly 
thrashed  and  pelted.  In  Monroe  county,  Tennessee,  near 
Madisonville,  in  the  year  of  grace  1893,  this  scribe  was  dared 
and  double-dared  to  holler  those  talismanic  words  as  he  passed 
a  county  school,  but  ignominiously  declined. 

"Ant'ny  Over."  A  game  almost  universal  with  the  chil- 
dren of  that  day  was  called  "Ant'ny  Over. "  Sides  were  chosen, 
one  side  going  to  one  side  of  the  house  and  the  other  to  the 
other.  A  ball  was  tossed  over  the  roof  by  one  side,  the  prob- 
lem being  whether  it  would  reach  the  comb  of  the  roof  and 
fall  on  the  other  side.  If  it  did  so  and  was  caught  by  one  on 
that  side,  that  side  ran  around  the  house  and  tried  to  hit 
somebody  on  the  other  side  with  the  ball;  if  they  succeeded 
the  one  hit  had  to  join  the  other  side,  and  the  side  catching 
the  ball  had  to  throw  it  over  the  house  and  so  on  until  one 
side  lost  all  children.  The  rule  was  for  the  side  tossing  the 
ball  to  cry  "Ant'ny!"  as  they  were  ready  to  throw  the  ball 
and  when  the  other  side  hollered  "Over!"  the  ball  was  thrown. 

Mountain  Lager  Beer.  Methiglen,  a  mildly  intoxicating 
drink,  made  by  pouring  water  upon  honey-comb  and  allowing 
it  to  ferment,  was  a  drink  quite  common  in  the  days  of  log 
rollings,  house  raisings  and  big  musters.  It  was  a  sweet  and 
pleasant  beverage  and  about  as  intoxicating  as  beer  or  wine. 

Lawful  Moonshine.     "Ardent  spirits  were  then  in  almost 


272        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

universal  use  and  nearly  every  prosperous  man  had  his  whis- 
key or  brandy  still.  Even  ministers  of  the  gospel  are  said  in 
some  instances  to  have  made  and  sold  liquor.  A  barroom  was 
a  place  shunned  by  none.  The  court  records  show  license  to 
retail  issued  to  men  who  stood  high  as  exemplary  members  of 
churches.  On  November  2,  1800,  Bishop  Asbury  chronicles 
that  "Francis  Alexander  Ramsey  pursued  us  to  the  ferry, 
franked  us  over  and  took  us  to  his  excellent  mansion,  a  stone 
house;  it  may  not  be  amiss  to  mention  that  our  host  has  built 
his  house,  and  taken  in  his  harvest  without  the  aid  of  whiskey. " 
Moonshining.  Before  railroads  were  constructed  in  these 
mountains  there  was  no  market  for  the  surplus  corn,  rye  and 
fruit;  and  it  was  considered  right  to  convert  these  products 
into  whiskey  and  brandy,  for  which  there  was  always  a  market. 
When,  therefore,  soon  after  the  Civil  War,  the  United  States 
government  attempted  to  enforce  its  internal  revenue  laws, 
much  resistance  was  manifested  by  many  good  citizens.  Grad- 
ually, however,  illicit  distilling  has  been  relegated  to  a  few 
irresponsible  and  ignorant  men;  for  the  penalty  inflicted  for 
allowing  one's  land  to  be  used  as  the  location  for  a  still,  or  to 
grind  corn  or  malt  for  illicit  stillers,  or  to  aid  them  in  any  way, 
is  great  enough  to  deter  all  men  of  property  from  violating 
the  law  in  this  regard.  Moonshining  is  so  called  because  it 
is  supposed  that  it  is  only  while  the  moon  is  shining  that 
illicit  stilling  takes  place,  though  that  is  erroneous,  as  much  of 
it  is  done  during  the  day.  But,  as  these  stills  are  located, 
usually,  in  the  most  out-of-the-way  places  possible,  the  smoke 
arising  during  the  day  from  the  stills  attracts  attention  and 
final  detection.  Stills  are  usually  located  on  small,  cold 
streams,  and  on  wild  land  little  adapted  to  cultivation.  Some- 
times, however,  stills  are  situated  in  the  cellar  or  kitchen  or 
other  innocent  looking  place  for  the  purpose  of  diverting  sus- 
picion. Neighbors,  chance  visitors,  the  color  the  slops  give  to 
the  streams  into  which  they  drain,  and  other  evidence  finally 
lead  to  the  arrest  of  the  operators  and  the  destruction  of  the 
stilling  plant  and  mash.  The  simplest  process  is  to  soak  corn 
till  it  sprouts,  after  which  it  is  dried  and  ground,  making  malt. 
Then  corn  is  ground  into  meal,  and  it  and  the  malt  are  placed 
in  tubs  with  water  till  they  sour  and  ferment,  making  mash. 
This  mash  is  then  placed  in  the  still  and  boiled,  the  steam 
passing  through  a  worm  or  spiral  metal  tube  which  rests  in  a 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOiMS  273 

cooling  tub,  into  which  a  stream  of  running  water  pours  con- 
stantly. This  condenses  the  steam,  which  falls  into  the 
"singling  keg";  and  when  a  sufficient  quantity  has  been  pro- 
duced, the  mash  is  removed  from  the  still,  and  it  is  washed 
out,  after  which  the  "singlings"  are  poured  into  the  still  and 
evaporated,  passing  through  the  worm  a  second  time,  thus 
becoming  "  doublings, "  or  high  proof  whiskey.  It  is  then 
tested  or  proofed — usually  by  shaking  it  in  a  bottle — when  its 
strength  is  determined  by  the  bubbles  or  "beads"  which  rise 
to  the  top.  It  is  then  adulterated  with  water  till  it  is  "right," 
or  mild  enough  to  be  drunk  without  blistering  the  throat. 
Apples  and  peaches  are  first  mashed  or  ground,  fermented  and 
evaporated,  thus  becoming  brandy.  Still  slops  are  used  to 
feed  cattle  and  hogs,  when  practicable,  but  moonshiners 
usually  have  to  empty  their  slops  upon  the  ground,  from  which 
it  is  sure  to  drain  into  some  stream  and  thus  lead  to  dis- 
covery. Still  slop-fed  hogs  do  not  produce  as  firm  lard  as 
corn-fed  animals,  just  as  mash-fed  hogs  do  not  produce  as 
good  lard  as  corn-fed  hogs,  though  the  flesh  of  mast-fed  hogs 
is  considered  more  delicate  and  better  flavored  than  that  of 
any  other  kind. 

Blockading  is  usually  applied  to  the  illegal  selling  of  moon- 
shine whiskey  or  brandy. 

The  Strength  of  Union.  The  following  account  of  the 
cooperation  common  among  the  early  settlers  is  taken  from 
"  A  Brief  History  of  Macon  County"  by  Dr.  C.  D.  Smith, 
published  in  1905,  at  Franklin: 

"It  was  the  custom  in  those  early  days  not  to  rely  for  help  upon  hired 
labor.  In  harvesting  small  grain  crops  the  sickle  was  mostly  used.  When 
a  crop  was  ripe,  the  neighbors  were  notified  and  gathered  in  to  reap  and 
shock  up  the  crops.  The  manner  was  for  a  dozen  or  more  men  to  cut 
through  the  field,  then  hang  their  sickles  over  their  shoulders  and  bind 
back.  The  boys  gathered  the  sheaves  together  and  the  old  men  shocked 
them  up.  The  corn  crops  were  usually  gathered  in  and  thrown  in  great 
heaps  alongside  the  cribs.  The  neighbors  were  invited  and  whole  days 
and  into  the  nights  were  often  spent  in  husking  out  a  single  crop.  I  have 
seen  as  many  as  eighty  or  ninety  men  at  a  time  around  my  father's  corn 
heap.  If  a  house  or  barn  was  to  be  raised  the  neighbors  were  on  hand  and 
the  building  was  soon  under  roof.  Likewise,  if  a  man  had  a  heavy  clear- 
ing, it  was  no  trouble  to  have  an  ample  force  to  handle  and  put  in  heaps 
the  heaviest  logs.  It  was  no  unusual  thing  for  a  man  to  need  one  or  two 
thousand  rails  for  fencing.  All  he  had  to  do  was  to  proclaim  that  he 
would  have  a  'rail  mauling'  on  a  given  day,  and  bright  and  early  the 

W.  N.  C— 18 


274        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

neighbors  were  on  the  ground  and  the  rails  were  made  before  sun-down. 
This  custom  of  mutual  aid,  cultivated  a  feeling  of  mutual  dependence  and 
brotherhood,  and  resulted  in  the  most  friendly  and  neighborly  intercourse. 
Indeed,  each  man  seemed  to  be  on  the  lookout  for  his  neighbor's  comfort 
and  welfare  as  well  as  his  own.  It  made  a  community  of  broad,  liberal- 
minded  people,  who  despite  the  tongue  of  gossip  and  an  occasional  fist- 
icuff in  hot  blood,  lived  in  peace  and  good  will  one  toward  another.  There 
was  then  less  selfishness  and  cold  formality  than  now.  ...  I  am 
free  to  admit  that  there  has  been  improvement  along  some  lines,  such, 
for  instance,  as  that  of  education,  the  building  of  church-houses,  style  of 
dress,  etc.,  but  I  am  sure  that  there  has  been  none  in  the  sterner  traits  of 
character,  generosity,  manliness,  patriotism,   integrity,  and  public  spirit." 

Giants  in  Those  Days.  It  also  appears  from  the  same 
very  admirable  sketch  of  Macon  county,  that  when  a  new 
road  was  desired  a  jury  was  appointed  to  lay  it  off  and  divide 
it  into  sections  as  nearly  equal  as  possible,  the  work  on  each 
section  being  assigned  by  lot  to  the  respective  captains  of 
militia  companies,  and  that  the  work  was  done  without  com- 
pensation. Dr.  Smith  cites  an  instance  when  he  saw  "men  taking 
rock  from  the  river  with  the  water  breast  deep  to  aid  in  build- 
ing wharves.     They  remained  until  the  work  was  finished." 

Fist  and  Skull. 

"There  was  another  custom  in  those  bygone  days  which  to  the  pres- 
ent generation  seems  extremely  primitive  and  rude,  but  which,  when  an- 
alyzed, shows  a  strong  sense  of  honor  and  manliness  of  character.  To 
settle  minor  disputes  and  differences,  whether  for  imaginary  or  real  per- 
sonal wrongs,  there  were  occasional  fisticuffs.  Then,  it  sometimes  oc- 
curred in  affairs  of  this  kind,  that  whole  neighborhoods  and  communities 
took  an  interest.  I  have  known  county  arrayed  against  county,  and 
state  against  state,  for  the  belt  in  championship,  for  manhood  and  skill 
in  a  hand-to-hand  tussel  between  local  bullies.  When  these  contests  took 
place  the  custom  was  for  the  parties  to  go  into  the  ring.  The  crowd  of 
spectators  demanded  fairness  and  honor.  If  anyone  was  disposed  to 
show  foul  play  he  was  withheld  or  in  the  attempt  promptly  chastised  by 
some  bystander.  Then,  again,  if  either  party  in  the  fight  resorted  to 
any  weapons  whatever,  other  than  his  physical  appendages,  he  was  at 
once  branded  and  denounced  as  a  coward,  and  was  avoided  by  his  former 
associates.  While  this  custom  was  brutal  in  its  practice,  there  was  a  bold 
outcropping  of  character  in  it,  for  such  affairs  were  conducted  upon  the 
most  punctilious  points  of  honor.  .  .  .  This  custom  illustrates  the 
times  and  I  have  introduced  it  more  for  the  sake  of  contrast  than  a  desire 
to  parade  it  before  the  public. " 

Horn  and  Bone.  Buttons  were  made  from  bones  and  cow's 
horns,  while  the  antlers  of  the  red  deer  were  almost  indispen- 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  275 

sable  as  racks  for  the  long  barreled  flint-lock  rifle,  hats,  cloth- 
ing or  other  articles  usually  suspended  from  pegs  and  hooks. 
Dinner  and  powder  horns  were  from  cow's  horns,  from  which 
the  "picker"  and  "charger"  hung.  Ink  bottles  were  made 
from  the  small  ends  of  cow's  horns,  powder  was  carried  in 
these  water-proof  vessels,  while  hounds  were  called  in  from 
the  chase  or  "hands"  were  summoned  from  the  fields  by- 
toots  upon  these  far-sounding  if  not  musical  instruments. 
During  the  Civil  War,  William  Silvers  of  Mitchell  county 
made  combs  from  cow's  horns,  filing  out  each  separate  tooth 
after  boiling  and  "spreading"  the  horns  into  flat  surfaces. 
He  sold  these  for  good  prices,  and  once  made  a  trip  to  Ashe- 
ville  with  a  wagon  for  a  full  load  of  horns  as  the  neighbor- 
hood did  not  supply  the  demand. 

Gunpowder  Bounty.  1 9  "In  1796  Governor  Ashe  issued 
a  proclamation  announcing  that  in  pursuance  of  an  Act  to 
provide  for  the  public  safety  by  granting  encouragement  to 
certain  manufactures,  Jacob  Byler,  of  the  county  of  Bun- 
combe, had  exhibited  to  him  a  sample  of  gunpowder  manu- 
factured by  him  in  the  year  1799  and  also  a  certificate  prov- 
ing that  he  had  made  six  hundred  and  sixty-three  pounds  of 
good,  merchantable,  rifle  gunpowder;  and  therefore,  he  was 
entitled  to  the  bounty  under  the  Act  (2  Wheeler's  History 
of  North  Carolina,  52).  This  Jacob  Byler,  or  rather  Boyler, 
was  afterward  a  member  of  Buncombe  County  court,  and  in 
the  inventory  of  his  property  returned  by  his  administrator 
after  his  death  in  October,  1804,  is  mentioned  "Powder  mill 
irons. " 

Elizabethton's  Battle  Monument.  On  a  massive  monu- 
ment erected  in  1910  at  Elizabethton,  Tenn.,  to  the  soldiers 
of  all  the  wars  in  which  Tennessee  has  participated  is  a  marble 
slab  to  the  memory  of  Mary  Patton  who  made  the  powder 
with  which  the  battle  of  Kings  Mountain  was  fought.  This 
was  made  on  Powder  Mill  branch,  Carter  county,  Tennessee. 
On  what  is  still  known  as  Powder  Mill  creek  in  old  Mitchell, 
so  long  ago  that  the  date  cannot  now  be  fixed  with  certainty, 
Dorry  and  Loddy  Oaks  made  powder  near  where  the  creek 
empties  into  Toe  River.     Zeb  Buchanan  now  owns  the  land. 

Wanderlust.  Alexander  Thomas,  A.  J.  McBride,  and 
Marion  Wilson,  all  of  Cove  creek,  Watauga  county,  went  to 
California  in  1849,  crossing  the  plains  in  ox  carts,  and  mined 


276        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

for  gold.  Captain  Young  Farthing  helped  to  carry  the  Chero- 
kees  to  the  West  in  1838,  as  did  also  William  Miller,  Col. 
James  Horton  and  others  of  Watauga.  They  were  paid  in 
land  warrants  to  be  located  in  Kansas,  but  the  warrants  were 
usually  sold  for  what  they  would  bring,  which  was  little. 
Jacob  Townsend  of  near  Shull's  Mills  was  a  pensioner  of  the 
War  of  1812.  Colonel  J.  B.  Todd,  Peter  Hoffman  and  Jason 
Martin  of  Watauga  were  in  the  Mexican  war.  A  number  of 
others  volunteered  from  these  mountains,  but  were  never 
called  out. 

Forge  Bounty  Land  Grants.  One  of  the  first  needs  of 
these  pioneers  was  iron,  and  in  1788  (Ch.  293,  Laws  of  N.  C. 
as  revised  by  Potter  J.  L.  Taylor  and  Bart  Yancey,  Esqs., 
1821)  the  legislature  passed  an  act  by  which  3,000  acres  of 
vacant  lands  "not  fit  for  cultivation  most  convenient  to  the 
different  seats  is  hereby  granted  for  every  set  of  iron  works, 
as  a  bounty  from  this  State  to  any  person  or  persons  who  will 
build  and  carry  on  the  same."  One  or  more  tracts  for  each 
set  of  works  was  to  be  entered  and  a  copy  of  the  entry  trans- 
mitted to  the  next  court  that  should  be  held  in  the  county, 
when  a  jury  of  twelve  persons  of  good  character  should  view 
the  land  and  certify  that  it  was  not  fit  for  cultivation.  Iron 
works  were  then  to  be  erected  within  three  years,  and  when 
it  should  be  made  to  appear  to  the  court  that  5,000  weight 
of  iron  had  been  made  the  grant  was  to  be  issued.  "Three 
forges  where  it  was  made  grew  up  in  Buncombe  county,  one 
on  Hominy  creek,  upon  the  old  Solomon  Luther  place,  which 
belonged  to  Charles  Lane;  another  on  Reems  creek  at  the 
Coleman  mill  place,  which  belonged  to  the  same  man,  but 
was  sold  by  him  in  1803,  to  Andrew  Baird;  the  third  was  on 
Mills  river,  now  in  Henderson  county  on  what  has  ever  since 
been  called  the  Forge  mountain,  on  which  are  also  the  Boils- 
ton  gold  mines.  The  iron  ore  for  this  purpose  was  procured 
at  different  places  in  Buncombe  county."20  The  State 
granted  to  Thomas  Calloway,  November  21,  1807,  3,000  acres 
of  land  in  Ashe  county  (Deed  Book  D,  p.  88)  and  to  William 
Daniel,  David  Worth,  Moses  L.  Michael  and  R.  Murchison 
2,000  acres  in  Ashe  county,  in  1854.  (Deed  Book  U,  p.  62.) 
Grants  were  also  issued  to  the  late  Messer  Fain  in  Cherokee, 
and  some  of  the  pigs  are  still  in  existence  there. 

Dates  of  Working  Old  Iron  Mines.        From  "  The  Iron 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  277 

Manufacturer's  Guide"  (1859,  by  J.  P.  Lesley)  we  find  that 
Harbard's  Bloomery  Forge  near  the  mouth  of  Helton  creek 
was  built  in  1807  and  washed  away  in  1817;  that  the  Cran- 
berry Bloomery  Forge  on  Cranberry  was  built  in  1820,  and 
rebuilt  in  1856;  that  North  Fork  Bloomery  Forge  eight  miles 
northwest  of  Jefferson  on  New  river,  was  built  in  1825;  aban- 
doned in  1829;  washed  away  in  1840;  Ballou's  Bloomery 
Forge,  at  Falls  of  North  Fork  of  New  river,  12  miles  north- 
east of  Jefferson,  was  built  in  1817;  washed  away  in  1832  by 
an  ice  freshet;  Helton  Bloomery  Forge,  on  Helton  creek,  12 
miles  north-northwest  of  Jefferson,  was  built  in  1829;  washed 
away  in  1858;  another  forge  was  built  one  and  one-fourth 
miles  further  down  in  1802,  but  did  not  stand  long;  Laurel 
Bloomery  Forge,  on  Laurel  creek,  15  miles  west  of  Jefferson, 
built  in  1847;  abandoned  in  1853;  Toe  river  Bloomery  Forge, 
five  miles  south  of  Cranberry  Forge,  built  in  1843;  Johnson's 
Bloomery  Forge,  six  miles  south  of  Cranberry  Forge,  built  in 
1841;  Lovingood  Bloomery  Forge,  on  Hanging  Dog,  Cherokee 
county,  two  miles  above  Fain's  Forge,  built  from  1845  to 
1853;  Lower  Hanging  Dog  Bloomery  Forge,  five  miles  north- 
west of  Murphy,  built  in  1840;  Killian  Bloomery  Forge  one- 
half  miles  below  Lower  Hanging  Dog  Forge,  built  in  1843, 
abandoned  1849;  Fain  Bloomery  Forge,  on  Owl  creek,  two 
miles  below  Lovingood  Forge,  built  in  1854;  Persimmon  creek 
Bloomery  Forge,  on  Persimmon  creek  12  miles  southwest  of 
Murphy,  built  in  1848;  Shoal  creek  Bloomery  Forge,  on  Shoal 
creek,  five  miles  west  of  Persimmon  creek  Forge,  built  about 
1854;  Palsey  Forge,  built  by  John  Ballou  at  mouth  of  Helton 
in  1859  and  rebuilt  by  W.  J.  Pasley  in  1871  (it  is  now  aban- 
doned); New  River  Forge  on  South  Fork  of  New  river,  one- 
half  mile  above  its  junction  with  North  Fork;  built  1871, 
washed  away  in  1878.  Uriah  Ballou  of  Crumpler,  N.  C,  has 
gold  medals  for  the  best  magnetic  iron  ore  from  the  Louis- 
iana Purchase  Exposition  and  from  the  World's  Fair  at  Paris 
immediately  afterwards,  which  was  taken  from  these  mines. 
The  lands  are  now  the  property  of  the  Virginia  Iron  &  Coke 
Company. 

Pioneer  Thors  and  Forges.  Iron  was  manufactured  at 
these  old  time  forges  about  as  follows  :  When  the  ore  was  in 
lumps  or  mixed  with  rock  and  dirt  it  was  crushed  by  "  stamp- 
ers, "  consisting  of  hardwood  beams  6x6  inches,  which  were  raised 


278        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

and  dropped' by  a  cogged  horizontal  revolving  shaft.  When  the 
ore  was  fine  enough  it  was  washed  in  troughs  to  separate  it  from 
as  much  foreign  matter  as  possible.  It  was  then  ready  for  the 
furnace,  which  consisted  of  a  rock  base  6x6  feet  and  two 
and  one-half  feet  high.  On  three  sides  of  this  base  walls  of 
rock  were  erected  two  and  one-half  feet  high,  leaving  one  side 
open.  A  nest  was  left  in  the  bottom  of  this  base  or  hearth, 
through  the  middle  of  which  a  two  inch  blast  pipe  ran,  and 
projecting  above  it.  Air  was  furnished  to  this  pipe  by  a 
stream  of  water  passing  through  wooden  tubes  12x12  inches. 
A  small  fire  of  chips  was  started  in  this  nest  above  the  mouth  of 
the  blast  pipe.  Over  this  fire  three  or  four  bushels  of  char- 
coal was  placed  and  blown  into  a  white  heat.  Upon  this 
charcoal  a  layer  of  ore  was  spread,  and  as  it  was  heated,  an 
other  layer  of  charcoal  was  placed  above,  and  on  it  still  another 
layer  of  ore.  This  was  gradually  melted,  the  molten  ore  set- 
tling into  the  nest  and  the  silica  remaining  on  top.  Into  the 
mass  of  melted  iron  an  iron  bar  would  be  thrust.  This  bar 
was  used  simply  to  form  a  handle  for  the  turning  of  the  ore 
that  adhered  to  it  after  it  had  been  withdrawn  and  placed  on 
the  anvil  to  be  hammered.  The  melted  ore  thus  drawn  out 
was  called  a  "loop." 

The  hammer  and  the  anvil  were  about  the  same  weight,  750 
pounds  each,  with  an  eye  through,  6x12  inches.  They  were  in- 
terchangeable. The  anvil  was  placed  on  white-oak  beams,  about 
the  size  of  a  railroad  cross-tie,  which  spanned  a  pit  dug  in 
the  ground  in  order  to  give  spring  to  the  blow  made  by  the 
hammer.  Through  the  eye  of  the  hammer  a  beam  of  strong 
wood  was  fastened,  the  other  end  working  on  a  pivot  or  hinge. 
Near  this  hinged  end  was  a  revolving  shaft  shod  with  four  large 
iron  cogs,  each  about  six  inches  long  and  five  inches  square, 
and  each  having  a  rounded  corner.  These  cogs  lifted  the  ham- 
mer handle  rapidly,  while  above  the  handle  a  wooden  "bray" 
overcame  the  upward  thrust,  and  gravity  drove  the  hammer 
downward  upon  the  heated  mass  awaiting  it  on  the  anvil. 
The  blows  thus  dealt  were  rapid  and  heavy  and  could  be 
heard  under  favorable  conditions  ten  or  more  miles. 

Silent  Finger  Signals.  It  was  the  duty  of  the  "tender," 
the  chief  assistant  of  the  hammerman,  to  withdraw  the  loop 
from  the  furnace  and  place  it  on  the  anvil,  when  the  hammer- 
man took  the  end  of  the  handle  and  signaled  with  his  fingers 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  279 

laid  on  the  handle  to  the  tender  to  begin  hammering,  which 
was  done  by  the  latter  allowing  the  water  to  strike  the  wheel 
which  worked  the  hammer  shaft.  Two  fingers  indicated  more 
rapid  hammering,  three  still  more  rapid  hammering,  and  the 
withdrawal  of  all  fingers  meant  that  the  hammering  should 
cease.  When  the  foreign  matter  had  been  hammered  out  of 
the  loop,  it  was  divided  into  two  or  more  loops  of  25  to  30 
pounds  each;  a  short  iron  bar,  to  serve  as  handles,  was  welded 
to  each  piece,  and  they  were  again  placed  in  the  furnace  and 
re-heated  and  then  hammered  into  bars  from  9  to  12  feet  in 
length,  or  divided  into  smaller  pieces  for  wagon-tires,  hoe- 
bars,  axe-bars,  plough-shares,  plough-molds,  harrow-teeth  bars, 
horse-shoe  irons,  and  gun  "skelps."  There  was  an  extra 
charge  for  "handage"  in  the  case  of  wagon-tires,  because  they 
were  hammered  out  thinner.  In  finishing  up  each  bar  or 
smaller  piece  of  iron  the  tender  would  pour  cold  water  on  its 
surface  to  give  it  a  hard  and  smooth  finish. 

Giant  "Hammermen."  The  hammerman  soon  became  a 
veritable  giant  in  his  arms,  and  it  is  related  of  one  of  the  older 
Duggers  that  he  could  insert  an  arm  into  the  eye  of  the  hammer 
and  another  into  that  of  the  anvil  and  strike  the  two  together. 
For  miles  below  the  water  powers  which  drove  these  forges 
the  streams  were  muddy  with  the  washings  from  the  ore. 
For  years  iron  thus  made  was  the  principal  commodity  of 
trade.  The  ends  of  the  iron  bars  were  bent  like  the  runners 
of  a  sled,  and  as  many  of  these  bars  were  bound  together  by 
iron  bands  as  could  be  dragged  over  the  rough  trails  by  a 
single  ox.  In  this  crude  fashion  many  tons  of  iron  found  a 
market  on  farms  remote  from  wagon  roads. 

Expensive  Hauling.  It  took  from  three  weeks  to  a 
month  to  go  from  Asheville  to  Charleston  or  Augusta  by 
wagon  before  the  Civil  War.  The  roads  were  bad,  and  those 
in  charge  of  the  wagons  camped  on  the  roadside,  cooking  their 
own  meals.  No  wonder  freight  rates  were  high,  and  that  peo- 
ple did  without  much  that  seems  indispensible  now.  It  is 
said  that  Waugh,  Murchison  &  Poe,  early  merchants  of  Jef- 
ferson, hauled  their  goods  from  Wilmington,  N.  C.  The  late 
Albert  T.  Summey  says  that  :  "goods  were  hauled  from  Au- 
gusta and  Charleston  and  cost  from  $1.75  to  $2.00  per  hun- 
dred. Salt  cost  in  Augusta  $1.25  for  a  sack  of  200  lbs.  Add 
$4.00  for  hauling,  and  it  is  easy  to  understand  why  people 


280        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

thought  it  cheap  when  they  could  buy  it  for  $5.00."  As 
late  as  the  spring  of  1850  it  took  Deacon  William  Skiles  of 
Valle  Cruces  three  weeks  to  ride  horseback  from  Plymouth, 
N.  C.  to  Watauga. 2 l 

Rifle  Guns.22  The  word  "rifle"  is  too  generic  a  term  for 
the  average  mountaineer;  but  he  knows  what  a  "rifle-gun" 
is.  Some  of  the  older  men  have  seen  them  made — lock,  stock 
and  barrel.  The  process  was  simple  :  a  bar  of  iron  the  length 
of  the  barrel  desired  was  hammered  to  the  thickness  of  about 
three-sixteenths  of  an  inch  and  then  rolled  around  a  small 
iron  rod  of  a  diameter  a  little  less  than  the  caliber  desired. 
After  this,  the  rolled  iron  was  welded  together  gradually — 
only  three  or  four  inches  being  welded  at  a  time  because  it 
was  not  practicable  to  do  more  at  a  single  "heating"  without 
also  welding  the  rod  which  was  inside.  This  rod  was  with- 
drawn from  the  barrel  while  it  was  being  heated  in  the  fur- 
nace and  allowed  to  cool,  and  when  the  glowing  barrel  was 
withdrawn  from  the  fire  the  rod  was  inserted  and  the  weld- 
ing would  begin  and  be  kept  up  till  the  bar  inside  began  to  get 
too  hot,  after  which  it  was  withdrawn  and  cooled  while  the 
barrel  was  being  heated  again,  and  then  the  same  process  was 
repeated  till  the  work  was  done.  The  caliber  of  the  barrel 
was  now  smaller  than  desired,  but  it  was  enlarged  by  drilling 
the  hole  with  a  steel  bit  operated  by  water-power.  The  spiral 
grooves  inside  the  barrel  were  made  by  small  pieces  of  steel, 
two  inches  long,  with  saw-teeth  on  the  edges,  which  served 
the  purpose  of  filing  the  necessary  spiral  channels.  The  cali- 
ber was  determined  by  the  number  of  bullets  which  could  be 
molded  from  a  pound  of  lead,  and  usually  ran  from  80  to  140. 
The  caliber  of  rifles  is  now  measured  by  the  decimels  of  an 
inch,  regardless  of  the  number  of  bullets  to  the  pound  of  lead. 
No  hand-made  rifle  was  ever  known  to  burst.  The  locks, 
hammers,  triggers,  guards,  ramrods,  etc.,  were  all  made  on 
the  common  anvil. 2  3 

Primitive  Tools  and  Methods.  Dutch  scythes  for  cut- 
ting grass  have  been  in  the  mountains  time  out  of  mind,  but 
English  scythes  for  the  same  purpose  did  not  come  into  use 
in  some  of  the  counties  till  about  1856-7.  Cradles  for  cutting 
small  grain  were  employed  about  1846;  before  which  time 
reaping  hooks  had  been  used  entirely.  Before  thrashing  ma- 
chines arrived  small  grain  was  separated  from  the  stems  by 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  281 

means  of  flails,  as  in  the  old  Bible  days  of  the  threshing  floors — 
only  in  western  North  Carolina  a  smooth  place  was  made  in 
the  hillside,  if  there  was  no  level  ground  elsewhere,  cloth  was 
spread  down  over  it,  and  the  grain  beaten  out  by  flails.  After 
this  had  been  done,  what  was  known  as  a  "riddle"  was  used 
to  free  the  grain  of  straw  and  chaff,  sheets  or  coverlids  of  beds 
being  used  to  fan  the  chaff  away  as  the  grain  fell.  Then 
came  the  sieve  to  separate  the  grain  from  all  heavy  foreign 
matter,  after  which  it  was  ground  in  grist  mills,  and  bolted 
by  sifting  it  through  thin,  loosely  woven  cloth  wound  over  a 
cylindrical  wooden  frame  revolved  by  hand,  a  labor  often  im- 
posed by  the  indolent  miller  on  the  boy  who  had  brought  the 
grist  to  mill.  The  miller  never  made  any  deduction  from  his 
toll  because  of  this  labor,  however. 

Ground  Hog  Threshers.  When  the  threshing  machine 
came,  about  1850,  it  was  a  seven  days  wonder.  It  was  what 
was  known  as  the  "ground-hog"  thresher,  and  required  eight 
horses  to  pull  it  from  place  to  place.  It  was  operated  by 
horse  power  also,  which  power  was  communicated  to  the  ma- 
chine by  means  of  a  tarred  cotton  rope  in  place  of  a  band  or 
sprocket  chain,  both  of  which  came  later.  The  grain  and 
straw  came  from  the  machine  together  and  were  caught  in  a 
big  sheet  surrounded  by  curtains.  The  straw  was  raked  from 
the  top  of  the  grain  by  wooden  forks  made  from  saplings  or 
the  limbs  of  trees.  Steel  pitchforks  did  not  come  into  gen- 
eral use  in  these  mountains  till  about  1850.  A  ground  hog 
thresher  could  thresh  out  about  100  bushels  a  day  with  the 
help  of  about  16  hands,  while  the  modern  machine  can  easily 
thresh  out  over  400  bushels  with  the  assistance  of  10  hands; 
but  as  the  extra  hands  of  the  olden  time  charged  nothing  for 
their  labor,  and  felt  honored  by  being  allowed  to  take  part  in 
such  glorious  work,  no  complaint  was  ever  heard  on  that  score. 
Mowing  machines  did  not  come  into  general  use  in  this  sec- 
tion till  1869  or  1870.  Even  the  North  refused  them  till 
England  took  them  up. 2  4 

The  Handy  Blacksmith.  Tools  of  all  kinds  were  made  by 
the  ordinary  blacksmiths  of  the  country  at  ordinary  forges. 
They  made  axes,  hatchets,  drawing-knives,  chisels,  augurs, 
horse-shoes,  horse-shoe  nails,  bolts,  nuts  and  even  pocket 
knives ! 

Fish  and  Fish  Traps.       Fish  abounded  in  all  mountain 


282        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

streams,  and  "a  good  site  for  a  fish  trap"  was  the  greatest 
recommendation  which  a  piece  of  land  could  have.  These 
places  were  always  the  first  entered  and  granted.  In  them 
fish  by  the  barrelful  would  sometimes  be  caught  in  a  single 
night  where  the  trap  was  well  situated  and  strongly  built. 
Fishing  at  night  in  canoes  by  torchlight  with  a  gig  was  a  fa- 
vorite sport  as  well  as  profitable  practice  and  it  was  much  in- 
dulged in. "  2  5  Above  vertical  falls  trout  could  not  pass.  Elk 
river,  above  the  Great  Falls,  had  no  trout  till  1857  (D.  L. 
Low  in  Watauga  Democrat,  June  26,  1913),  when  men  placed 
them  there. 

Grist  Mills.  "The  first  consideration,  however,  with 
these  primitive  inhabitants,  was  the  matter  of  grist  mills. 
Hence  at  the  first  session  of  the  [Buncombe]  county  court  we 
find  it  'Ordered  that  William  Davidson  have  liberty  to  build 
a  grist  mill  on  Swannanoa,  near  his  saw  mill,  Provided  he 
builds  said  mill  on  his  own  land.'  This  was  in  April,  1792. 
In  January,  1793,  it  was  'Ordered  that  John  Burton  have 
liberty  to  build  a  Grist  mill  on  his  own  land,  on  a  branch  of 
French  Broad  River,  near  Nathan  Smith's,  below  the  mouth 
of  Swannanoa,'  Apparently  Davidson's  mill  was  not  built, 
"but  John  Burton's  was  on  Glenn's  creek  a  short  distance 
above  its  mouth. " 

When  the  Clock  Stopped.  There  were  a  few  old  seven- 
day  clocks  brought  by  the  first  settlers,  but  as  a  rule  watches 
and  clocks  were  few.  Men  and  women  learned  to  guess  the 
time  with  some  accuracy  by  looking  at  the  sun  on  clear  days, 
and  guessing  at  it  on  cloudy.  Following  is  a  description  of  the 
usual  time-piece  :  "The  clock  consisted  of  a  knife  mark,  ex- 
tending north  from  one  of  the  door-facings  across  the  punch- 
eon next  to  it.  When  the  mark  divided  the  sunshine  that 
fell  in  at  the  door  from  the  shadow  of  the  facing,  it  was  noon. 
All  other  hours  were  guessed  at  :  on  cloudy  days  the  clock 
stopped. " 2  6 

Culture  and  Manufacture  of  Flax.  The  flax  seed  were 
sown  thick,  and  when  the  plant  was  mature  it  was  pulled  up 
by  the  roots  and  spread  on  the  ground  to  dry.  Then  it  was 
bound  in  bundles  and  placed  in  a  dry  place  till  the  envelope 
surrounding  the  fiber  was  decomposed.  Sometimes  it  was 
scattered  over  the  snow  to  bleach  the  lint.  It  was  then  re- 
bound in  small  bundles  and  when  the  farmer  was  ready  it 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  283 

was  opened  and  placed  on  the  "brake,"  which  consisted  of 
four  or  five  wooden  slats  parallel  to  each  other  through  which 
wooden  knives  passed,  driving  the  flax  stems  between.  After 
the  flax  was  thus  broken  a  handful  of  it  was  placed  on  the 
end  of  an  upright  board  which  had  been  driven  into  the  ground, 
and  struck  smartly  by  a  wooden  swingling  knife  in  order  to 
knock  off  the  small  pieces  of  straw  from  the  fiber.  Then  the 
fiber  was  drawn  through  the  hackle,  which  consisted  of  a 
board  from  whose  surface  projected  five  or  six  inches  a  row 
of  iron  spikes,  which  served  to  separate  the  tow  from  the  flax. 
The  flax  was  then  spun  on  the  low  wheels,  now  sometimes 
seen  in  drawing  rooms,  gilded  and  beribboned,  but  never  used. 
Then  it  was  wound  on  spools  from  which  it  was  reeled  into 
hanks.  In  the  elder  day  the  women  had  to  count  the  revo- 
lutions of  the  reels,  but  before  the  Civil  War  a  device  was 
invented  by  which,  after  100  revolutions,  the  reel  would 
crack,  and  the  housewife  thus  knew  a  hank  had  been  reeled 
off.  The  flax  thread  was  then  ready  to  be  spooled  and  placed 
on  the  warping  bars  from  which  it  was  wound  on  the  beam  of 
the  loom.  From  this  beam  it  was  put  through  gears  and 
slays  of  split  reeds,  thus  making  the  warp.  After  this,  other 
flax  thread  was  reeled  off  on  quills  from  the  hanks  and  placed 
in  shuttles  which  were  shot  through  the  warp  as  the  tread 
opened  it,  and  the  thread  thus  placed  between  the  warp  was 
driven  back  against  the  first  thread  by  means  of  the  battern, 
thus  making  loose  cloth.  Wool  was  shorn,  washed,  dried, 
picked,  carded,  spun,  reeled  on  to  brooches  with  shuck  cores 
from  the  spinning  wheel,  when  it  was  ready  to  be  woven  or 
knitted. 

Churches  and  Schools.  The  early  settlers  were  Scotch- 
Irish,  as  a  whole,  and  their  descendants  are  a  hardy,  hospit- 
able and  enterprising  pouplation,  They  were  about  equally 
divided  in  the  War  between  the  States  and  are  still  almost 
equally  divided  in  politics.  Until  the  coming  of  the  railroads 
there  had  been  necessarily  much  of  primitiveness  in  their 
houses,  clothing  and  manners;  but  religion  has  always  been  a 
strong  and  controlling  factor  in  their  lives.  Churches  have 
always  existed  here;  but  school-houses  had  been  few  and 
small  and  very  little  attention  had  been  given  to  education. 
But,  since  the  railroads  have  penetrated  into  this  region,  all 
this  has  changed,  and  dwelling  houses  have  improved,  cloth- 


284        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

ing  and  manners  have  changed,  and  it  is  the  exception  nowa- 
days to  find  a  boy  or  girl  of  twelve  years  of  age  who  cannot 
read  and  write. 

Militia  Muster  Days.  On  the  second  Saturday  of  Oc- 
tober each  year  there  was  a  general  muster  at  each  county 
seat,  when  the  various  companies  drilled  in  battalion  or  regi- 
mental formation;  and  each  separate  company  met  on  its 
local  muster  grounds  quarterly,  and  on  the  fourth  of  July 
the  commanding  officers  met  at  the  court  house  to  drill.  The 
Big  Musters  called  most  of  the  people  together,  and  there  was 
much  fun  and  many  rough  games  to  beguile  the  time.  Cider 
and  ginger  cakes  were  sold,  and  many  men  got  drunk.  There 
was  also  some  fighting,  but  seldom  with  stones  or  weapons. 

Salable  Products.  Apples,  hog  meat,  deer  hams,  chest- 
nuts, chinquapins,  butter,  honey,  wax,  lard,  eggs  were  the 
commodities  they  usually  took  to  market,  returning  heavily 
laden  with  salt,  yarn,  pins,  needles,  tools,  crockery  ware,  am- 
munition and  a  few  cooking  utensils.  They  relied  principally 
upon  herbs  for  such  medicines  as  they  used;  they  wove  their 
own  cloth  upon  hand  looms,  spinning  the  wool  into  thread 
and  hetcheling  or  hatcheling  out  the  flax.  As  sewing  machines 
had  not  yet  been  invented,  the  women  and  girls  cut  out  and 
sewed  together  all  the  garments  used  by  themselves,  their 
children  and  "  the  men  folks"  generally. 

No  Money.  According  to  Col.  A.  T.  Davidson  in  The 
Lyceum  for  January,  1891,  the  older  people  "had  no  money 
to  buy  with.  .  .  .  All  the  necessaries  of  life  were  pro- 
cured from  the  markets  in  Georgia  and  South  Carolina.  It 
was  a  three  weeks'  trip  with  a  wagon  to  Augusta,  Georgia. 
For  this  market  the  neighborhood  would  bunch  their  prod- 
ucts, bring  their  forces  together  and  make  trips  to  Augusta 
loaded  with  bacon,  peltries  and  such  other  marketable  arti- 
cles as  would  bear  transportation  in  this  simple  way.  The 
return  for  these  products  was  sugar,  coffee,  salt  and  molasses; 
and  happy  was  the  family  on  the  return  of  the  wagons  to  be 
able  to  have  a  jugful  of  New  Orleans  black  molasses.  And 
how  happy  the  children  were  to  meet  their  fathers  and  broth- 
ers again,  and  have  them  recite  the  many  stories  of  the  trip. 
We  then  bought  salt  by  the  measure,  a  bushel  weighing  about 
seventy  pounds.  The  average  price  on  the  return  of  the 
wagon  was  about  three  dollars  per  bushel.     It  was  interesting 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  285 

to  see  the  people  meet  to  get  from  the  wagons  their  portion 
of  the  return  load;  and  happy  was  the  small  family  that  got 
a  half  hushel  of  salt,  50  cents  worth  of  coffee  and  a  gallon  of 
molasses.  There  was  a  general  rejoicing,  all  going  home  sat- 
isfied and  happy,  content  with  their  small  cargoes,  confident 
that  they  had  enough  to  do  them  for  the  next  year.  It  is 
remarkable  how  simply  and  carefully  they  lived,  and  with 
what  earnestness  and  hope  they  went  to  their  daily  toil,  ex- 
pecting nothing  more  than  this  small  contribution  to  their 
luxury  for  a  year  to  come. 

Stock  Raising.27  "The  borders  in  the  valley  of  Virginia 
and  on  the  western  highlands  of  the  Carolinas  were  largely 
engaged  in  raising  horses,  cattle,  sheep  and  hogs,  which  grazed 
at  will  upon  the  broad  slopes  of  the  eastern  foothills  of  the 
Alleghanies,  most  of  them  being  in  as  wild  a  state  as  the  great 
roving  herds  now  to  be  seen  upon  the  semi-arid  plains  of  the 
far  West."  The  same  occupation  was  followed  by  those  who 
passed  west  of  the  foothills  of  the  Alleghanies,  and  is  kept 
up  till  this  day.  Those  who  had  bought  up  the  wild  lands  at 
low  figures  encouraged  cattle  herders  to  pasture  or  "range" 
their  stock  there.  In  the  first  place  it  gained  their  good  will, 
and  in  the  second  it  enabled  landowners  to  become  aware  of 
the  presence  of  any  squatters  who  might  seek  to  hold  by  ad- 
verse possession.  Two  other  reasons  were  that  landowners 
could  not  have  prevented  the  ranging  of  cattle  except  by  fenc- 
ing in  their  lands,  an  impossible  task  at  that  time,  and  the 
suppression  of  fires  in  their  incipiency.  Certain  it  is,  that  all 
sorts  of  stock  were  turned  into  the  mountains  in  May,  where 
they  remained  till  October,  with  weekly  visits  from  their  own- 
ers for  purposes  of  salting  and  keeping  them  gentle.  After 
awhile  a  market  was  found  on  the  coast  for  the  cows,  sheep, 
horses  and  hogs,  and  they  were  driven  there  in  the  late  sum- 
mer and  during  the  fall.  "There  annually  passed  through 
Buncombe  county  an  average  of  150,000  hogs,  driven  on  foot 
about  eight  miles  daily,  which  required  24  bushels  daily  for 
each  1,000  and  were  fed  on  corn  raised  in  Buncombe."28 

Stock  "Stands."  There  were  many  "stock  stands"  along 
the  French  Broad  river  in  ante-railroad  days,  for  the  turnpike 
from  Asheville  to  the  Paint  Rock  was  a  much  traveled  thor- 
oughfare. Its  stockholders  made  money,  so  great  was  the 
travel. 2  9     James  Garrett  had  a  stand  about  one  mile  below 


286        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

the  Hot  Springs.  Then  there  was  another  opposite  the  Hot 
Springs,  known  as  the  White  House,  and  kept  by  the  late 
John  E.  Patton.  At  the  mouth  of  Laurel  creek  was  still 
another  stand  kept  by  David  Farnsworth.  Just  above  the 
railroad  station  now  called  Putnam's  is  where  Woolsey  had 
a  stand,  while  Zach.  Candler  had  another  at  Sandy  Bottoms. 
Then  came  Hezekiah  A.  Barnard's  stand  at  what  is  still  called 
Barnards,  though  it  used  to  be  called  "Barnetts, "  and  oppo- 
site the  mouth  of  Pine  creek  Samuel  Chunn  gave  bed  and 
board  to  the  weary  drovers  and  feed  to  "his  dumb  driven" 
cattle,  sheep,  hogs,  horses,  mules  or  turkeys.  At  the  lower 
end  of  what  is  now  Marshall,  Joseph  Rice  lived  and  at  the 
upper  end  of  that  narrow  village  David  Vance  kept  a  tav- 
ern-— a  long  one — probably  150  feet  in  length,  huddled  be- 
tween the  stage  road  and  the  mountains.  Samuel  Smith 
accommodated  all  travelers  and  their  belongings  at  the  mouth 
of  Ivy,  and  Mitchell  Alexander  was  the  Boniface  at  Alex- 
ander's. 

Hezekiah  Barnard  used  to  boast  that,  while  David  Vance  at 
Lapland,  now  Marshall,  had  fed  90,000  hogs  in  one  month, 
he  himself  had  fed  110,000  in  the  same  period  of  time. 
Aquilla  Young,  of  Kentucky,  also  made  his  boast — he  had 
driven  2,785  hogs  from  Kentucky  to  North  Carolina  in  a 
single  drove. 3  ° 

Old  Road  Houses.  "The  stock  stands,  as  the  hotels  be- 
tween Asheville  and  Warm  Springs  were  called,  were  generally 
'well  kept.'  They  began  four  miles  below  Asheville,  at  five 
miles  there  was  another,  at  seven  and  a  half  miles  still  an- 
other, at  ten  another,  and  another  at  thirteen  and  a  half. 
After  this,  at  16,  18,  21,  22,  28,  33,  36,  37,  40  and  47  mile- 
posts  there  were  still  other  hotels.  "Many  of  them  have 
entirely  gone,  and  actually  the  ground  upon  which  some  of 
them  stood  has  disappeared.  The  road,  with  a  few  points 
excepted,  is  but  a  wreck  of  its  former  self.  It  was  once  a 
great  connecting  link  between  Kentucky,  Tennessee,  South 
Carolina  and  Georgia,  and  the  travel  over  it  was  immense. 
All  the  horses,  mules,  cattle,  sheep  and  hogs  were  driven  over 
this  route  from  the  first  mentioned  States  to  the  latter,  and 
the  quantities  of  each  and  all  used  then  was  very  much 
greater  than  now.  In  October,  November  and  December 
there  was    an    almost  continuous  string  of  hogs  from  Paint 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  287 

Rock  to  Asheville.  I  have  known  ten  to  twelve  droves,  con- 
taining from  300  to  one  or  two  thousand  stop  over  night  and 
feed  at  one  of  these  stands  or  hotels.  Each  drove  was  'lot- 
ted' to  itself,  and  'corned'  by  the  wagon-load,  the  wagon 
being  driven  through  each  lot  with  ten  or  a  dozen  men  scat- 
tering the  corn  right,  left  and  rear,  the  load  emptied  and  the 
ground  literally  covered.  The  drivers  of  these  hogs  were 
furnished  large  rooms,  with  immense  log-heap  fire-places  and 
a  blanket  or  two  each,  that  they  furnished  themselves.  They 
would  form  a  semi-circle  upon  the  bare  floor,  their  feet  to  the 
fire,  and  thus  pass  the  night;  that  they  slept,  I  need  not  tell 
you.  After  driving  20  to  50  hogs  from  daylight  to  dark  they 
could  eat  without  coaxing  and  sleep  without  rocking.  The 
travel  over  this  thoroughfare  was  the  life  of  the  country."31 

Old  Time  Country  Stores.  "Corn,  sixty  years  ago,  was 
'the  staple  production';  the  culture  of  tobacco  was  not 
thought  of.  These  hotel  men,  many  of  them,  kept  little 
stores,  bartered  or  sold  everything  on  a  credit;  and  in  the  fall 
they  would  advertise  that  on  certain  days  they  would  receive 
corn  in  payment  of  'store  accounts,'  and  then  the  farmers 
would  bestir  themselves.  They  would  commence  delivering 
frequently  by  daylight  and  continue  it  until  midnight.  I 
have  seen  these  corn  wagons  strung  out  for  a  mile  and  as 
thick  as  they  could  be  wedged.  They  were  more  anxious  to 
pay  accounts  then  than  some  of  us  are  now;  but  it  was  pay 
or  no  credit  next  year.  Each  merchant  had  his  'trade,' 
and  there  was  no  getting  in  debt  to  one  and  then  skip  to  an- 
other. The  price  allowed  for  corn  was  almost  invariably 
fifty  cents  per  bushel,  the  hotel  men  furnishing  it  to  drovers 
at  about  75  cents.  They  charged  the  drovers  from  twenty 
to  twenty-five  cents  'per  diet,'  meaning  per  meal  for  their 
drivers,  asking  the  whole  in  lame  hogs  at  so  much  per  pound, 
or  a  due-bill  from  the  manager  to  be  paid  as  he  returned  home 
after  having  made  sale  of  his  stock,  cash  being  only  rarely  if 
ever  paid.  These  lame  hogs  taken  on  bills  were  kept  until 
a  suitable  time  for  killing — a  cold  spell  being  necessary  to 
save  the  meat — when  they  were  slaughtered  and  converted 
into  bacon  and  lard. "  3 1 

Hog-Killin'  Time.  "This  hog  killin'  was  a  big  time,  and 
'away 'fo'  day'  as  the  negroes,  who  were  the  principal  partic- 
ipants, would  say,  twenty  to  thirty  hands  would  build  im- 


288        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

mense  log-heap  fires;  with,  first,  a  layer  of  wood  and  then  a 
layer  of  stones,  which  continued  till  satisfactory  dimensions 
were  reached,  when  the  fire  was  applied  and  kept  burning 
until  the  stones  reached  a  red-heat.  In  the  meantime,  a 
platform  would  have  been  made  out  of  puncheons,  slabs  or 
heavy  plank,  at  one  end  of  which  and  very  near  the  fire  a 
large  hogshead  (or  scalding  tub),  filled  with  water,  was  placed. 
Then  the  hot  stones  were  transferred  to  the  water  till  a  proper 
temperature  for  scalding  was  reached,  and  a  certain  number 
of  hogs  having  been  shot  and  'stuck'  (bled  by  sticking  long 
knives  in  the  throat),  two  stout  men  would  plunge  each  hog 
into  the  hot  water  and  twist  and  turn  it  about  until  the  hair 
would  'slip,'  when  it  would  be  drawn  out  and  turned  over 
to  other  hands,  who,  with  knives,  would  remove  all  the  hair 
from  the  hog,  and  then  hang  it  by  its  hind  legs,  head  down, 
on  a  long  horizontal  pole,  where  it  would  we  washed  and 
scraped  down,  opened,  the  entrails  removed,  and  after  cool- 
ing, be  cut  to  pieces,  thus  making  hams,  shoulders  and  mid- 
dlings. Then  it  would  be  salted  down,  the  fat  having  been 
taken  from  all  parts.  This  fat  was  stewed  into  lard,  from 
which  the  boy's  dainty  'cracklings'  was  removed.  How  well 
I  remember  the  enjoyment  I  had  on  these  occasions,  in  broil- 
ing upon  the  hot  stones  the  'melts,'  making  a  delicacy  that 
I  think  would  be  relished  even  now;  and  in  blowing  up  and 
bursting  the  'bladders,'  frequently  saving  up  a  lot  of  them 
for  Christmas  'guns.'  "32 

Our  Depots  Sixty  Years  Ago.  "Forty  years  ago  Char- 
leston and  Augusta  were  our  depots;  think  of  it — thirty  to 
sixty  days  in  going  and  returning  from  market!  Our  people 
then  thought  little  or  nothing  of  hitching  up  four  or  six  mules, 
once  or  twice  a  year,  and  starting  to  market  .  .  .  with 
forty  to  fifty  hundred  pounds  of  bacon  and  lard,  flour  and 
corn  meal,  dried  fruit,  apples  and  chestnuts  .  .  .  and 
bring  back  a  barrel  or  two  of  molasses  and  sugar,  a  keg  or 
so  of  rice,  a  few  sacks  of  salt  and  coffee,  a  little  iron,  a  hun- 
dred or  two  pounds  of  nails  and  a  box  or  so  of  dry-goods."33 

Roads  Sixty  Years  Ago.  "But  the  roads  then  were 
charming.  I  can  remember  when  the  road  from  Asheville  to 
Warm  Springs,  every  foot  of  it,  was  better  than  any  half-mile 
of  Asheville  streets.  Old  Colonel  Cunningham's  'mule  and 
cart'  and  two  or  three  hands  traversed  it  from  beginning  to 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  289 

end  of  year,  removing  every  loose  stone  and  smoothing  up 
every  place.  All  travel  was  then  by  private  conveyance  or 
stage,  there  being  several  four-horse  coaches  out  from  Ashe- 
ville  daily. " 3  4 

Agriculture  and  Wit  Sixty  Years  Ago.  Of  the  farming 
along  the  French  Broad  between  Asheville  and  Warm  Springs 
sixty  years  ago,  we  read  that  "the  lands  were  in  a  high  state 
of  cultivation,  exceedingly  high  a  great  deal  of  it,  as  one  would 
infer  in  passing  along  the  foot  of  many  steep  hills  and  looking 
up  to  the  top,  seemingly  almost  perpendicular;  and  yet  I  have 
ploughed  over  some  of  the  worst  of  them  many  a  day,  and 
was  often  indignant  at  the  surprise  expressed  and  sarcastic 
remarks  made  by  the  passer-by.  One  would  ask  if  we  did 
our  planting  with  'shot-guns'!  Another,  when  were  we  go- 
ing to  move,  as  he  saw  that  we  had  our  land  rolled  up  ready 
for  a  start!  The  Kentucky  horse-drovers  would  say  the  water 
of  the  French  Broad  was  so  worn  out  by  splashing  and  dash- 
ing over  and  against  the  rocks  that  it  was  actually  not  fit 
for  a  horse  to  drink!" 

Herbs  and  Roots.  Ginseng  was  for  years  the  principal 
herb  that  commanded  cash  in  this  section,  but  at  first  it 
brought,  when  green,  only  seven  cents  a  pound.  It  is  now 
worth  six  dollars  or  more. 3  5  But  gradually  a  market  was 
developed  for  many  other  native  herbs,  such  as  angelico, 
blood  root,  balm  of  gilead  buds,  yellow  and  white  sarsaparilla, 
shamonium  (Jamestown  or  gympsum  weed),  corn  silk  (from 
maize),  corn-smut  or  ergot,  liverwort,  lobelia,  wahoo  bark, 
Solomon's  seal,  polk  root  and  berries,  pepper  and  spear-mint, 
poppy  and  rose  leaves,  and  raspberry  leaves.  Dried  black- 
berries since  the  Civil  War  also  find  a  ready  market.  Arthur 
Cole  on  Gap  creek  in  Ashe  county  once  did  an  immense  busi- 
ness in  herbs,  and  the  large  warehouses  still  standing  there 
were  used  to  store  the  herbs  which  he  baled  and  shipped 
north.  Ferns,  galax  leaves  and  other  evergreens  are  gathered 
by  women  in  the  fall  and  winter  and  find  ready  sale. 

A  Low  Money  Wage.  Laborers  and  lawyers  were  poorly 
paid  in  the  old  days,  and  the  doctors  of  medicine  fared  little 
better.  A  fee  of  one  hundred  dollars  in  a  capital  case  was 
considered  the  "top  notch"  by  many  leaders  of  the  bar,  while 
the  late  David  Ballard  of  Ox  creek,  Buncombe  county,  who 
died  about  1905  at  the  age  of  eighty-odd  years,  used  to  say 

W.  N.  C— 19 


290        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

that,  when  he  was  a  young  man,  he  "had  worked  many  a 
day  for  25  cents  a  day  and  found  himself."  But  25  cents  in 
those  days  would  buy  more  than  a  dollar  would  now,  and,  as 
most  of  the  trading  was  by  barter,  money  was  not  missed  as 
much  as  might  be  imagined.  Stores  were  few  and  most  of 
the  things  we  now  consider  indispensable  were  unknown  to 
many  of  the  poorer  people.  Besides,  everything  that  was 
indispensable  was  made  at  home,  and  things  that  were  not 
indispensable  were  cheerfully  dispensed  with. 

Dyes.  Madder  dyed  red;  walnut  bark  and  roots  dyed 
brown;  bedewood  bark  dyed  purple;  dye-flowers  and  snuff 
weed  dyed  yellow;  copperas  dyed  yellow,  and  burnt  copperas 
dyed  nearly  red.  All  black  dyes  rot  wool.  Dyes  fade  unless 
"set"  in  the  thread — that  is,  made  fast  before  the  thread  is 
placed  in  the  loom.  Laurel  leaves,  copperas,  alum,  and  salt 
set  dyes.  The  ooze  from  boiled  walnut  roots  and  bark  was 
used  to  dye  the  wool  before  it  was  spun.  It  was  dipped  and 
dried,  and  dipped  and  dried  again  and  again  till  the  proper 
color  had  been  attained.  The  dye  pot  stood  on  the  hearth 
nearly  all  the  time,  as  it  had  to  be  kept  warm.  Some  dye 
plants  were  grown  in  the  gardens,  but  they  usually  grew  wild. 

NOTES. 

'The  Century  Magazine  for  September,  1890. 

2Asheville's  Centenary. 

aFifth  Eth.,  Rep.  147. 

'Roosevelt,  Vol.  Ill,  p.  225. 

5Asheville's  Centenary. 

Thwaites,  p.  30. 

'Hominy  creek  in  Buncombe  got  its  name  from  a  hominy  mill  with  a  pestle  worked  by 
water. 

8These  graters  are  still  used  in  many  places. 

Thwaites,  p.  32. 

10Thwaites,  p.  32.  The  late  Col.  Allen  T.  Davidson  used  to  tell  of  a  famous  hunter 
named  "  Neddy"  McFalls  who  traveled  from  Cataloochee  to  Waynesville  to  have  a  witch 
doctor — a  woman— remove  a  "spell"  he  thought  someone  had  put  on  his    Gillespie  rifle. 

lll'Book  of  Hand-woven  Coverlets,"  by  Eliza  Calvert  Hall. 

"Collier's  Editorial,  April  6,  1912.     John  Fox,  Jr.'s  novels. 

13The  murder  of  the  gambler,  Rosenthal,  in  August,  1912,  on  Broadway,  New 
York,  N.  Y. 

"Tarbell,  Vol.  I,  rj.  5 

iKByrd,  212. 

16Zeigler  &  Grosscup,  p.  96. 

"Ibid.,  94-96. 

18There  is  a  spinning-wheel  on  Grassy  Branch  in  Buncombe  county  on  which  Polly 
Henry  spun  more  thread  than  Judge  Burton's  daughter  in  1824. 

"Asheville's  Centenary. 

"Ibid. 

"From  "A  Life  of  Deacon  William  West  Skiles." 

22Asheville's  Centenary. 

2  description  furnished  by  Col.  David  J.  Farthing  of  Butler,  Tenn.  This  applies  only 
to  the  guns  whose  barrels  were  not  bored  out.  The  late  Col.  Allen  T.  Davidson  used  to 
tell  of  a  famous  gun-maker,  who  lived  near  Cherry  Fields  at  the  head  of  the  French  Broad 
river,  whose  "rifle  guns"  were  much  sought.  The  iron  bars  from  which  they  were  made 
were  called  "gunskelps."     His  name  was  Gillespie. 

"Mace's  "School  History  of  U.  S.,"  1904,  p.  287. 

25Asheville's  Centenary. 

26"Balsam  Groves,"  p.  17. 

"Thwaites,  p.  35. 

28A.  T.  Summey  in  Asheville's  Centenary. 

29John  A.  Nichols'  statement  to  J.  P.  A.,  July,  1912. 


MANNERS  AND  CUSTOMS  291 


'"Upon  the  organization  of  the  Western  Division  of  the  W.  N.  C.  R.  R.  Co.,  the  stock 
and  property  of  the  Buncombe  Turnpike  Co.  were  exchanged  for  an  equal  amount  of  stock 
in  the  Western  Division.     Shipp's  Land  Com.  Report,  pp.  284-285. 

"Col.  J.  M.  Hay  in  Lyceum,  p.  16,  December,  1890. 

'2Ibid.,  p.  17. 

""Ibid.,  P-  16.  .     E  .      .„ 

34The  referer.ce  was  to  a  time  shortly  before  any  paving  had  been  done  in  Asheville. 

s sin  the  "Autobiography  of  Rev.  C.  D.  Smith,"  p.  2,  we  find  that  ginseng  was  "  manu- 
factured," and  Col.  A.  T.  Davidson  in  the  Lyceum  for  January,  1891,  p.  5,  speaks  of  the 
"factory."  Dr.  Smith  also  says  this  herb  was  gathered  "in  Madison,  Yancey,  a  portion 
of  Buncombe,  Mitchell,  Watauga,  Ashe,  and  Alleghany  counties."  Col.  Davidson  speaks 
of  Dr.  Hailen  and  Dr.  Smith,  of  Lucius  &  Heylin  of  Philadelphia,  as  the  merchants  to  whom 
it  was  shipped. 


CHAPTER  XII 

EXTRAORDINARY    EVENTS 

Junaluska.     In  the  fall  of  1910  the  General  Joseph  Win- 
ston Chapter,  D.  A.  R.,  unveiled  at  Robbinsville,   Graham 
county,  a  metal  tablet,  suitably  inscribed,  to  Junaluska  and 
Nicie  his  wife.     The  tablet  was  attached  to  a  large  boulder 
which  had  been  placed  on  the  graves  of  these  two  Cherokees. 
Mrs.  George  B.  Walker  of  Robbinsville  read  a  paper  in  which 
was  given  the  chief  facts  of  the  career  of  this  noted  Indian 
chieftain;  among  which  was  the  recovery  by  him  of  an  Indian 
maiden  who  had  been  sold  into  slavery  and  taken  to  Charles- 
ton, S.  C,  by  proving  by  microscopic  tests  that  her  hair  had 
none  of  the  characteristics  of  the  negro's.     He  also,  on  sep- 
arate occasions,  saved  the  lives  of    Rev.  Washington  Lovin- 
good  and  Gabriel  North,  whom  he  found  perishing  from  cold  in 
the  mountains.     He  went  with  the  Cherokees  to  the  west  in 
1838,  but  returned,  and  was  allowed  to  remain,  the  legislature 
of  North  Carolina  of  1847  having,  by  special  act,  made  him  a 
citizen  and  granted  him  337  acres  of  land  near  what  is  now 
Robbinsville.     The    Battle    of   the    Horse    Shoe   was    fought 
August  27,   1814,  according  to  Alfred  M.  Williams'  Life  of 
Sam  Houston  (p.  13),  and  on  March  27th,  according  to  others. 
It  was  called  the  Battle  of  To-ho-pe-ka,  and  was  fought  in  a 
bend  of  the  Tallapoosa  river,  Alabama,  by  Gen.  Andrew  Jack- 
son in  the  Creek  War.     It  was  fortified  across  the  neck  of  the 
peninsula  by  a  fort  of  logs  against  which  Jackson's  small 
cannon  were  ineffective.     But  in  the  rear  there  were  no  forti- 
fications except  the  river  itself,  so  that  Gen.  Coffey,  Jackson's 
coadjutor,  could  not  cross.     But  Junaluska  swam  the  river 
and  stole  the  canoes  of  the  Creeks,  strung  them  together  and 
paddled  them  to  the  opposite  shore,  where  he  filled  them  with 
a  large  number  of  Cherokees,  recrossed  the  river,  led  by  him- 
self, and  attacked  in  the  rear  while  Jackson  attacked  in  front, 
Sam  Houston  and  his  Tennesseans  scaling  the  walls  and  grap- 
pling the  Creeks  hand  to  hand.     The  Creeks  asked  and  received 
no    quarter,    Houston    himself    being    desperately    wounded. 
This  ended  the  last  hope  of  the  Creeks  as  a  nation.     I-su-nu- 
la-hun-ski,  which  has  been  improved  into  Junaluska,  is  Cher- 

(292) 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  293 

okee  for  "I  tried  but  failed,"  and  was  given  this  chief  because 
at  the  outset  of  the  Creek  War  he  had  boasted  that  he  would 
exterminate  the  Creeks,  but,  at  first,  had  failed  to  keep  his 
promise.  The  following  is  the  inscription  on  the  tablet: 
"Here  lie  the  bodies  of  the  Cherokee  chief  Junaluska,  and 
Nicie,  his  wife.  Together  with  his  warriors,  he  saved  the  life 
of  General  Jackson,  at  the  Battle  of  Horseshoe  Bend,  and  for 
his  bravery  and  faithfulness  North  Carolina  made  him  a  citi- 
zen and  gave  him  land  in  Graham  county.  He  died  Novem- 
ber 20,  1858,  aged  more  than  one  hundred  years.  This  monu- 
ment was  erected  to  his  Memory  by  the  General  Joseph  Win- 
ston Chapter,  D.  A.  R.,  1910."  Before  his  death  Junaluska 
conveyed  his  land  to  R.  M.  Henry.  But  Sheriff  Hayes  admin- 
istered on  the  estate  of  the  deceased  Indian  and  got  an  order 
from  the  court  for  the  sale  of  the  land  to  make  assets.  Under 
the  sale  Gen.  Smythe  of  Ohio  became  the  purchaser,  and  took 
possession.  The  case  was  carried  to  the  United  States  court, 
where  Henry  won.  But  Judge  Dick  held  that  it  was  a  case 
in  equity,  and  set  aside  the  verdict  of  the  jury,  heard  the 
evidence  himself  and  decided  it  in  favor  of  Smythe.  Henry 
did  not  appeal.  See  record  in  office  of  clerk  of  United  States 
court,  Asheville.     It  was  decided  in  the  seventies. 

Peyton  Colvard.  This  pioneer  was  of  French  extraction, 
the  name  originally  having  been  spelt  Calvert,  according  to 
the  Rev.  Mr.  Verdigans  of  the  Methodist  Church,  South. 
Peyton  Colvard  came  to  Ashe  county  after  the  Revolutionary 
War.  The  Colvards  of  Cherokee  and  Graham  are  descend- 
ants, as  is  also  Dr.  J.  W.  Colvard  of  Jefferson,  Ashe  county. 

Part  of  Negro  Mountain  Falls.  About  the  year  1830 
Peyton  Colvard  lived  in  a  log  building  which  stood  on  the  site 
of  the  present  Jefferson  Cash  store  of  Dr.  Testerman,  and  on 
the  morning  of  February  19,  1827,  the  day  his  daughter  Rachel, 
now  the  wife  of  Russell  Wilbar  of  Texas,  was  born,  a  huge  mass 
of  rock  fell  from  the  top  of  Negro  mountain  and  ploughed  a 
deep  furrow,  still  visible,  down  its  side  for  a  quarter  of  a  mile. 
The  main  mass  of  this  rock,  almost  intact,  is  still  visible,  with 
a  small  tree  growing  on  it,  while  large  trees  have  since  grown 
in  the  ravine  left  by  the  fall  of  this  immense  boulder. 

The  Falling  of  the  Stars.  Several  people  still  living 
remember  this  wonderful  and  fearful  event.  Col.  John  C. 
Smathers,  who  then  lived  on  Pigeon  river  above  Canton,  remem- 


294        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

bers  it  distinctly.  He  remembers  hearing  women  wailing  and 
men  praying.  Francis  Marion  Wells,  still  living  on  Grass 
creek  in  Madison  county,  remembers  it  also.  He  is  now  over 
ninety-two  years  of  age.  Mrs.  Eliza  Burleson,  still  living  on 
the  head  of  Cane  creek  in  Mitchell  county,  remembers  the 
occurrence.     She  also  is  over  ninety-two  years  of  age. 

Frankie  Silver's  Crime  and  Confession.  According 
to  Mrs.  Lucinda  Norman,  the  only  living  sister  of  Charles 
Silver,  now  (1912)  88  years  of  age  and  residing  at  Ledger, 
Mitchell  county,  N.  C,  Frances  Stewart  Silver  murdered  her 
husband,  Charles  Silver,  at  what  is  now  Black  Mountain 
Station  on  the  Carolina,  Clinchfield  and  Ohio  Railroad — the 
mouth  of  the  South  Toe  river — on  the  night  of  December  22, 
1831. 2  She  was  tried  before  Judge  Donnell,  June  Term,  1832, 
and  convicted  at  Morganton,  where  she  was  executed  July 
12,  1833.  On  appeal  her  conviction  was  affirmed  by  Judge 
Ruffin  (14  N.  C,  332).  She  escaped  from  jail  but  was  recap- 
tured. She  cut  her  husband's  head  off  with  an  ax,  and  then 
dismembered  the  body,  after  which  she  tried  to  burn  portions 
of  it  in  the  open  fireplace  of  her  home.  She  left  a  poem  lament- 
ing her  fate,  in  which  she  refers  to  "the  jealous  thought  that 
first  gave  strife  to  make  me  take  my  husband's  life."  She 
also  pleads  that  her  "faults  shall  not  her  child  disgrace."  She 
also  relates  in  the  poem  that 

"With  flames  I  tried  him  to  consume 
But  time  would  not  admit  it  done." 

She  must  have  been  educated  better  than  the  average  woman 
of  that  day.  Finding  that  she  could  not  get  rid  of  the  body 
by  burning  it,  she  concealed  portions  of  it  under  the  floor,  in 
rock  cliffs  and  elsewhere,  claiming  that  he  had  gone  off  for 
whiskey  with  which  to  celebrate  Christmas,  and  had  probably 
fallen  into  the  river,  which  had  soon  thereafter  frozen  over. 
A  negro  with  a  "magic  glass"  was  brought  from  Tennessee, 
and  as  the  glass  persisted  in  turning  downward,  the  floor  was 
removed  and  portions  of  the  body  found.  The  weather 
growing  warmer  other  parts  of  the  remains  revealed  them- 
selves, a  little  dog  helping  to  find  some. 

Two  Baird  Families.  Indicative  of  the  almost  utter 
desolation  of  these  early  scattered  mountain  communities  is 
the  story  of  the  two  Baird  families.     On  the  20th  of  April, 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  295 

1795,  John  Burton  sold  to  Zebulon  and  Bedent  Baird  all  his 
lots  in  Asheville  "except  what  lots  is  [already]  sold  and  maid 
over."  3  In  1819  Bedent  Baird  represented  Ashe  county  in  the 
House  of  Commons.  He  was  not  the  Bedent  who  had  bought 
the  lots  from  John  Burton. 4  Certain  it  is  that  another  Bedent 
Baird  lived  at  Valle  Crucis  in  what  is  now  Ashe  county,  and 
his  descendants  constitute  a  large  and  influential  family  in 
that  county  at  this  time,  just  as  the  Bairds  of  Buncombe  do 
in  that  county.  But  these  two  families  seem  never  to  have 
heard  of  the  existence  of  the  other  till  the  28th  of  January, 
1858,  when  Bedent  E.  Baird  wrote  to  Adolphus  E.  Baird 
at  Lapland,  now  Marshall,  in  answer  to  Baird's  note  of 
enquiry,  which  he  had  penciled  on  the  margin  of  a  news- 
paper. In  that  note  he  had  claimed  Bedent  as  a  relative 
and  stated  that  he  resided  at  Lapland;  but  he  failed  to 
sign  his  name  or  state  the  county  in  which  Lapland  was 
situated.  A.  E.  Baird  received  the  letter  promptly,  but 
seems  never  to  have  answered  it.  In  it  Bedent  gave  a 
full  family  history;  and  the  letter  was  published  in  full 
in  the  Asheville  Gazette  News  on  February  20,  1912.  This 
letter  was  read  and  preserved  by  the  numerous  Bairds  in 
Buncombe  but  no  one  seems  to  be  able  to  trace  the  exact 
relationship  between  the  Buncombe  and  the  Watauga  Bairds. 
That  they  are  the  same  family  no  one  who  knows  them  can 
doubt,  as  they  look,  and,  in  many  things,  act  alike,  besides 
having  the  same  given  names  in  many  cases. 5 

The  Cold  Saturday.  This  date  is  fixed  in  Watauga  by  the 
fact  that  John  Hartley  was  born  on  that  day,  which  is  set 
down  in  his  family  Bible  as  February  8,  1835.  On  June  5, 
1858,  a  freeze  killed  corn  knee-high,  and  all  fruits,  vegetables 
and  white  oak  trees  between  Boone  and  Jefferson,  according 
to  the  recollections  of  Col.  W.  L.  Bryan  of  Boone.  There 
was  a  slight  frost  at  Blowing  Rock  on  the  night  of  July  26,  1876. 
There  was  snow  on  the  Haywood  mountains  June  10,  1913. 

"The  Big  Snow."  Just  when  occurred  what  old  people  call 
the  "big"  snow  cannot  be  determined  to  the  satisfaction 
of  everyone.  Mrs.  Eliza  Burleson,  of  Hawk,  Mitchell  county, 
and  the  mother  of  Charles  Wesley  Burleson  of  Plum  Tree, 
was  born  on  the  5th  of  April,  1820,  on  Three  Mile  creek,  her 
father  having  been  Bedford  Wiseman.  She  married  Thomas 
Burleson,  now  deceased,  in  1840,  and  after  the  Big  Snow,  and 


296        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 


still  remembers  the  hunters  who  came  to  her  father's  house 
from  Morganton  with  guns  and  clogs  and  well  nigh  exter- 
minated the  deer,  which  could  not  run  on  the  frozen  surface 
of  the  deep  snow,  their  sharp  hoofs  plunging  through  the  crust, 
thus  rendering  locomotion  impossible.  Strange  to  say,  near 
this  very  place  is  now  the  largest  private  collection  of  deer  in 
the  mountains — Bailey's  deer-park  being  well  stocked,  while 
a  small  number  of  deer  still  wander  wild  in  the  neighborhood 
and  are  hunted  every  fall.  George  W.  Vanderbilt's  and  the 
Murchison  deer  parks  also  contain  a  number  of  these  animals, 
as  well  as  several  other  smaller  collections. 

"Snew,  Blew  and  Friz."  T.  L.  Lowe,  Esq.,  of  Banner 
Elk,  thinks  that  two  hundred  years  ago  elk,  moose  or  caribou 
roamed  these  mountains,  and  that  there  was  little  or  no  under- 
brush or  laurel  or  ivy  then.  He  speaks  of  a  big  snow  which 
fell  during  the  Fifties  which  recalled  Dean  Swift's  great  snow 
in  England,  when  he  said  "first  it  blew,  then  it  snew  and  then 
it  friz."  A  large  number  of  deer  were  killed  at  this  time  for 
the  same  reason,  the  frozen  crust.  In  Watauga  they  still  tell 
of  a  big  snow  which  entirely  obliterated  all  evidence  of  fences 
and  shrubbery;  but  the  year  seems  to  have  been  prior  to  1850. 

Other  Weather  Extravagancies.  From  Robert  Henry's 
diary  we  learn  that  in  "the  summer  of  1815  no  rain  fell  from 
the  8th  of  July  till  the  8th  of  September.  Trees  died."  Also 
that,  "on  the  28th  day  of  August,  1830,  Caney  branch  (which 
runs  by  Sulphur  spring  five  miles  west  of  Asheville)  ceased  to 
run.  Tom  Moore's  creek  and  Ragsdale's  creek  had  ceased 
to  run  some  days  before;  the  corn  died  from  the  drouth.  This 
has  been  the  driest  summer  in  sixty  years  to  my  knowledge. 
Our  spring  ceased  to  run  for  some  weeks  previous  to  the  above 
date."  Again:  "The  summer  of  1836  was  the  wettest 
summer  in  seventy  years  in  my  remembrance."  This  is  the 
climax:  "Thursday,  Friday,  and  Saturday  next  before 
Christmas,  1794,  were  the  coldest  days  in  seventy  years," 
though  as  he  had  been  born  in  1765  he  could  not  then  have 
been  quite  thirty  years  of  age  himself. 

A  Modern  "Big  Snow."  On  the  2d  and  3d  of  December, 
1886,  a  snow  three  feet  in  depth  fell  in  Buncombe  and  adjoin- 
ing counties.  On  December  6th  the  newly  elected  officers  of 
Buncombe  county  were  required  by  law  to  present  their  offi- 
cial bonds  to  the  county  commissioners  for  approval;  but, 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  297 

owing  to  the  snow,  it  was  impossible  to  travel  very  far.  As  a 
consequence  R.  H.  Cole,  who  had  been  elected  register  of  deeds, 
and  J.  V.  Hunter,  who  had  been  elected  treasurer,  could  not 
provide  bonds  acceptable  to  the  commissioners,  and  J.  H. 
Patterson  who  had  been  defeated  was  appointed  register  of 
deeds,  and  J.  H.  Courtney,  who  had  also  been  defeated,  was 
appointed  treasurer. 

Two  Recent  Cold  Snaps.  On  the  night  of  February 
7,  1895,  there  was  a  dangerous  fire  on  Pack  Square,  Ashe- 
ville,  threatening  for  awhile  the  entire  southeastern  section  of 
the  city.  The  thermometer  was  seven  degrees  below  zero. 
On  the  morning  of  February  13,  1899,  the  thermometer  was 
133^2  below  zero  at  Asheville. 

Mount  Mitchell.6  In  1835  Prof.  Elisha  Mitchell  made 
the  first  barometrical  measurements  of  our  mountains,  and 
his  report  was  the  first  authoritative  announcement  of  the 
superior  altitude  of  the  highest  southern  summit  to  that  of 
Mount  Washington  in  New  Hampshire.  In  1844  he  and 
Gen.  T.  L.  Clingman  took  observations  in  the  Balsam,  Smoky 
and  Black  mountains,  and  Gen.  Clingman  subsequently  pub- 
lished a  statement  to  the  effect  that  he  had  found  a  higher 
peak  in  the  Blacks  than  the  one  measured  by  Dr.  Mitchell. 
"It  was  admitted  that  Gen.  Clingman  had  measured  the  high- 
est point,  the  only  question  being  whether  that  peak  was  the 
same  as  that  previously  measured  by  Dr.  Mitchell." 

Discoverers  Dispute.  To  settle  the  matter  Dr.  Mitchell 
ran  a  series  of  levels  from  the  terminus  of  the  railroad  near 
Morganton  to  the  half-way  house  built  by  Mr.  William  Patton 
of  Charleston,  S.  C,  in  1856.  From  this  place  Dr.  Mitchell 
started  alone  to  Big  Tom  Wilson's  in  Yancey  by  the  route  he 
had  followed  in  1844.  He  intended  to  meet  his  son  Charles 
at  an  appointed  place  on  the  Blacks  the  following  Monday, 
he  having  left  the  half-way  house  Saturday,  June  27,  1857. 
His  son  waited  and  searched  for  him  till  Friday  following, 
when  news  of  the  professor's  disappearance  reached  Ashe- 
ville, and  many  men  set  out  to  search  for  him.  On  the  fol- 
lowing Tuesday  Big  Tom  Wilson,  who  had  been  the  professor's 
guide  in  1844,  discovered  his  trail  and  found  the  body  in  a 
pool  of  water  at  the  foot  of  a  waterfall,  since  called  Mitchell's 
creek  and  Mitchell's  fall.  The  body  was  taken  across  the 
top  of  the  Blacks  to  Asheville  and  there  interred  in  the  Pres- 


298        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

byterian  church  yard;  but  a  year  later  it  was  taken  back  to 
the  Peak  and  buried  there. 1 3 

The  Merits  of  the  Controversy.  Dr.  Arnold  Guyot 
of  Princeton  College,  in  an  article  published  in  the  Asheville 
News,  July  18,  1860:  "The  statements  Dr.  Mitchell  made,  at 
different  times,  of  the  results  of  his  measurements  failed  to 
agree  with  each  other,  and,  owing  to  unfavorable  circum- 
stances and  the  want  of  proper  instruments,  the  precise  loca- 
tion of  the  points  measured,  especially  of  the  highest,  had 
remained  quite  indefinite,  even  in  the  mind  of  Dr.  Mitchell 
himself,  as  I  learned  it  from  his  own  mouth  in  1856.  ...  I 
may,  perhaps,  be  permitted  to  express  it  as  my  candid  opinion 
(without  wishing  in  the  least  to  revive  a  controversy  happily 
terminated)  that  if  the  honored  name  of  Dr.  Mitchell  is  taken 
from  Mount  Mitchell  and  transferred  to  the  highest  peak,  it 
should  not  be  on  the  ground  that  he  first  made  known  its 
true  elevation,  which  he  never  did,  nor  himself  ever  claimed 
to  have  done;  for  the  true  height  was  not  known  before  my 
measurement  of  1854,  and  the  coincidence  made  out  quite 
recently  may  be  shown,  from  abundant  proofs  furnished  by 
himself,  to  be  a  mere  accident.  Nor  should  it  be  on  the  ground 
of  his  having  first  visited  it;  for,  though,  after  his  death,  evi- 
dence which  made  it  probable  that  he  did  [came  out,]  he  never 
could  convince  himself  of  it.  Nor,  at  last,  should  it  be  because 
that  peak  was,  as  it  is  alleged,  thus  named  long  before;  for  I 
must  declare  that  neither  in  1854,  nor  later,  during  the  whole 
time  I  was  on  both  sides  of  the  mountain,  did  I  hear  of  another 
Mount  Mitchell  than  the  one  south  of  the  highest,  so  long 
visited  under  that  name;  and  that  Dr.  Mitchell  himself,  before 
ascending  the  northern  peak,  in  1856,  as  I  gathered  it  from  a 
conversation  with  him,  believed  it  to  be  the  highest.  Dr. 
Mitchell  has  higher  and  better  claims,  which  are  universally  and 
cheerfully  acknowledged  by  all,  to  be  forever  remembered 
in  connection  with  the  Black  Mountain.  .  .  .  From  these 
facts  it  is  evident  that  the  honorable  senator  [T.  L.  Clingman] 
could  not  possibly  know  when  he  first  ascended  it 
that  anyone  had  visited  or  measured  it  before  him,  nor  have 
any  intention  to  do  any  injustice  to  Dr.  Mitchell.  . 
As  to  the  highest  group  in  the  Great  Smoky  Mountains,  how- 
ever, I  must  remark  that,  in  the  whole  valley  of  the  Tucka- 
seegee  and  Oconaluftee,  I  heard  of  but  one  name  applied  to  the 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  299 

highest  point,  and  it  is  that  of  Mount  Clingman.  The  great- 
est authority  around  the  peak,  Robert  Collins,  Esq.,  knows 
of  no  other.  .  .  .  Gen.  Clingman  was  the  leader  of  a  party 
which  made,  in  1858,  the  first  measurement,  and  the  party 
was  composed,  besides  himself,  of  Mr.  S.  P.  Buckley  and  Dr. 
S.  L.  Love.  He  caused  Mr.  Collins  to  cut  a  path  six  miles  to 
the  top,  which  enabled  me  to  carry  there  the  first  horse  . 
ever  seen  on  these  heights.  .  .  .  The  central  or  highest  peak 
is  therefore  designated  as  Clingman's  Dome,  the  south  peak, 
the  next  in  height,  as  Mount  Buckley,  the  north  peak  as 
Mount  Love." 

The  Monument.  The  monument  to  Professor  Elisha 
Mitchell,  on  the  crest  of  the  highest  peak  east  of  the  Rocky 
mountains,  was  completed  August  18,  1888.  It  is  bolted  to  the 
bed-rock  itself,  is  of  white  bronze — an  almost  pure  zinc — 
treated  under  the  sandblast  to  impart  a  granular  appear- 
ance, cause  it  to  resemble  granite,  and  prevent  discoloration; 
and  was  made  by  the  Monumental  Bronze  Company,  of 
Bridgeport,  Conn.  It  was  erected  by  Mrs.  E.  N.  Grant,  a 
daughter,  and  other  members  of  Prof.  Mitchell's  family.  Its 
dimensions  are  about  two  and  one-half  feet  at  the  base  and 
about  twelve  feet  high.  It  is  a  hollow  square  and  without  any 
ornamentation.  Vandals  have  shot  bullet  holes  in  it  and  an 
ax  blade  has  been  driven  into  one  of  its  sides.  Professor  W. 
B.  Phillips,  now  the  professor  of  Geology  at  the  University 
of  Texas,  had  charge  of  its  erection.  It  contains  the  follow- 
ing inscriptions: 

Upon  the  western  side,  in  raised  letters  is  the  single  word: 

"  MITCHELL" 

On  the  side  toward  the  grave  is  the  following: 

"Erected  in  1888. 
"Here  lies  in  hope  of  a  blessed  resurrection  the  body  of  Rev.  Elisha 
Mitchell,  D.D.,  who,  after  being  for  39  years  a  professor  in  the  Univer- 
sity of  North  Carolina,  lost  his  life  in  the  scientific  exploration  of  this 
mountain  in  the  64th  year  of  his  age,  June  27th,  1857.  "7 

A  Memorable  Riot.  During  the  Seymour  and  Blair  cam- 
paign of  1868  a  riot  occurred  on  the  public  square  at  Asheville 
in  which  one  negro  was  killed  and  two  others  seriously  wounded. 
Trouble  had  been  expected,  and  when  a  negro  knocked  a  young 
Mississippian  down,  twenty  or  more  pistols  were   discharged 


300        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

into  the  crowd  of  negroes,  while  from  several  store  doors  and 
second-story  windows  shotguns  and  rifles  were  discharged 
into  the  fleeing  blacks.  That  night  a  drum  was  beaten  in  the 
woods  where  now  is  Aston  park  and  a  crowd  of  negroes  assem- 
bled there,  and  reports  spread  that  they  would  burn  the  town. 
Messengers  were  sent  to  surrounding  towns,  and  by  daylight 
three  hundred  armed  white  men  from  adjoining  counties 
arrived.  For  two  weeks  the  streets  were  patrolled  at  night. 
Oscar  Eastman,  in  charge  of  the  Freedman's  Bureau,  had  an 
office  in  the  Thomas  building  on  the  southwest  corner  of  the 
square;  but  after  the  riot  Eastman  could  not  be  found  for 
several  days,  as  it  was  thought  he  had  incited  the  negroes  to 
arm  themselves  with  stout  hickory  sticks  and  shout  for  Grant 
and  Colfax,  the  immediate  casus  belli.  Giles  McDowell,  a 
large,  bushy-headed  negro  and  a  Democrat,  came  up  South 
Main  street  and  shouted  "Hurrah  for  Seymour  and  Blair," 
whereupon  the  other  negroes  made  a  rush  for  him,  during 
which  the  young  Mississippian  was  knocked  down.  Giles 
fled;  but  another  darky  by  the  name  of  Jim  Greenlee  fell  on  his 
face  at  the  first  shot,  groaning  and  hollering.  After  the  shoot- 
ing was  over  it  developed  that  Jim  was  unhurt,  but  had  wisely 
pretended  to  be  hurt  in  order  to  keep  anyone  from  firing  at 
him.  In  1874,  Eastman,  who  had  made  himself  very  obnox- 
ious, was  indicted  in  Buncombe  Superior  court  twenty-five  times 
for  retailing  whiskey  and  once  for  gambling.  At  the  Spring 
Term  of  1869  George  H.  Bell,  William  Blair,  Erwin  Hardy, 
Gaston  McDowell,  Ben.  Young,  Natt  Atkinson,  J.  M.  Alex- 
ander, J.  W.  Shartle,  E.  H.  Merrimon,  Henry  Patton,  Simon 
Henry,  Robert  Patton,  John  Lang  and  Armistead  Dudley, 
pleaded  guilty  to  the  charge  of  riot,  and  were  taxed  with  the 
costs. 

A  Backwoods  Abelard  and  Eloise.  The  tomb  of  the 
Priest  Abelard  and  his  sweetheart  Eloise,  in  Paris,  is  visited 
by  greater  numbers  than  that  of  Napoleon.  But  the  grave  of 
poor,  ignorant  and  deluded  Delilah  Baird  near  Valle  Crucis 
is  neglected  and  unknown.  Yet  she  as  truly  as  Eloise  gave 
her  life  for  love;  for  although  she  knew  that  John  Holsclaw 
was  a  married  man,  she  thought  he  was  taking  her  to  Kentucky 
when  as  a  child  of  fifteen  she  followed  him  to  the  Big  Bottoms 
of  Elk  in  the  spring  of  1826,  where  she  lived  a  life  of  faithful- 
ness and  devotion  to  her  lover  and  their  son  and  daughter,  and 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  301 

died  constant  and  true  to  her  role  as  his  widow  in  God's  sight, 
if  not  in  that  of  man's.  Having  sold  her  land  the  poor  re- 
pressed, stinted  creature  indulged  in  gay  dressing  in  her  later 
years,  which  caused  some  of  her  relatives  to  fear  that  she  was 
not  competent  to  manage  her  money  matters;  but  a  com- 
mission of  which  Smith  Coffey  was  a  member,  found  that  she 
was.  (Deed  Books  R.,  p.  574,  and  A.,  p.  498.)  In  1881-82 
she  wrote  to  a  childhood  friend,  not  a  former  sweetheart, 
Ben  Dyer,  at  Grapevine,  Texas,  to  come  and  protect  her 
interests  and  she  would  give  him  a  home.  He  came,  but 
was  not  satisfied,  and  on  May  26,  1882,  sued  her  for  his  trav- 
eling expenses  and  the  worth  of  his  time;  but  recovered  only 
$47.50,  the  price  of  a  ticket  to  Texas.  (Judgment  Roll  and 
Docket  A.,  p.  172,  Watauga  county;  See  Chapter  13,  "Loch- 
invar  Redux.") 

Nimrod  S.  Jarrett.  In  the  early  fall  of  1873  Bayliss  Hen- 
derson, a  desperado  from  Tennessee,  wandering  about,  heard 
that  Col.  N.  S.  Jarrett  would  leave  his  home  at  the  Apple 
Tree  place  on  the  Nantahala  river,  six  miles  above  Nantahala 
station  on  the  Western  North  Carolina  Railroad,  and  the  same 
distance  below  Aquone,  where  his  daughter,  Mrs.  Alexander 
P.  Munday,  and  her  husband  lived.  Henderson  had  been 
told  that  Jarrett  would  carry  a  large  sum  of  money  with  him 
as  he  had  to  go  to  Franklin  to  settle  as  guardian  for  wards  who 
had  become  of  age.  On  a  bright  Sunday  morning  he  was  to 
start  alone,  as  Henderson  had  been  told,  and  on  that  morning 
he  did  start  and  alone.  Half  a  mile  below  the  home  where 
Micajah  Lunsford  used  to  live  he  overtook  Henderson,  who 
was  strolling  idly  along  the  road.  Henderson  walked  a  short 
distance  by  Jarrett's  horse,  but  falling  back  a  pace  drew  his 
pistol  and  shot  the  Colonel  in  the  back  of  the  head  at  the 
base  of  the  brain.  He  took  his  watch  and  chain  and  the  little 
money  he  had  in  his  pocket,  and  hearing  some  one  coming  he 
waded  across  the  Nantahala  river  and  watched.  The  person 
he  had  heard  was  Mrs.  Jarrett,  the  dead  man's  wife,  a  cripple, 
who  had  ridden  rapidly  in  order  to  overtake  her  husband  and 
ride  with  him  to  Aquone  where  she  was  to  have  stayed  till  he 
returned  from  Franklin.  She  went  on  and  told  Micajah 
Lunsford  and  a  crowd  soon  gathered  about  the  body.  The 
footprints  of  a  man  near  the  body  were  measured,  but  before 
the  body  was  removed  Henderson  came  upon  the  scene.     It 


302        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

was  noticed  that  the  heels  of  his  shoes  were  missing,  but  that 
in  other  respects  his  shoes  made  a  print  exactly  like  those 
which  had  been  there  before  his  arrival.  He  was  arrested 
and  taken  to  Franklin.  The  trial  was  removed  to  Jackson 
county,  where  he  was  convicted  and  hanged,  the  Supreme  court 
refusing  a  new  trial.  (68  N.  C.)  While  Henderson  was  in 
Macon  jail  he  sent  a  man  named  Holland  to  a  certain  tree 
near  the  scene  of  the  murder,  where  he  found  the  watch,  chain 
and  money.  Later  on  Henderson  escaped  and  went  back  to 
the  place  where  he  had  lived  before  the  murder,  but  was  found 
hiding  in  a  brush-heap  soon  afterwards  and  returned  to  prison. 
Col.  Jarrett  was  73  years  old. 

A  Forgotten  Crime.  In  the  spring  of  1855  the  home  of 
Col.  Nimrod  S.  Jarrett  at  Aquone,  Macon  county,  was  burned 
in  the  day  time,  and  one  of  his  children,  a  little  girl,  perished 
in  the  flames,  though  her  mother  had  gone  into  the  burning 
dwelling  in  the  effort  to  find  and  rescue  her,  and  had  been 
dragged  out  by  force.  About  1898  a  man  named  Bill  Dills 
died  on  the  head  of  Wusser  creek,  and  confessed  that  he  had 
set  fire  to  the  house  in  order  to  prevent  suspicion  falling  on 
him  for  having  stolen  several  small  sums  of  money,  his  idea 
being  that  their  loss  when  discovered,  would  be  attributed  to 
the  fire. 

Quaking  Bald.  "The  most  famous  of  the  restless  moun- 
tains of  North  Carolina  is  'Shaking  Bald.'"  The  first  shock, 
which  occurred  February  10,  1874,  was  followed  in  quick 
succession  by  others  and  caused  general  alarm  in  the  vicinity. 
This  mountain  for  a  time  received  national  attention.  Within 
six  months  more  than  one  hundred  shocks  were  felt. 

The  general  facts  of  these  terrestrial  disturbances  have 
never  been  disputed,  but  concerning  their  cause,  there  has 
been  widely  diversified  speculation.  Is  there  an  upheaval  or 
subsidence  of  the  mountains  gradually  going  on?  Are  they 
the  effect  of  explosions  caused  by  the  chemical  action  of  min- 
erals under  the  influence  of  electric  currents?  Are  they  the 
effect  of  gases  forced  through  fissures  in  the  rocks  from  the 
center  of  the  earth,  seeking  an  outlet  at  the  surface?  These  are 
questions  on  which  scientists  differ.  Be  the  cause  what  it  may, 
there  is  no  occasion  to  fear  the  eruption  of  an  active  volcano. 

"The  famous  Bakl  mountain  forms  the  north  wall  of  the 
valley.     Its  sterile  face  is  distinctly  visible   from  the  porch 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  303 

of  the  Logan  hotel.  Caves  similar  to  Bat  cave  are  high  on  its 
front.  In  1874  Bald  mountain  pushed  itself  into  prominence 
by  shaking  its  eastern  end  with  an  earthquake-like  rumble, 
that  rattled  plates  on  pantry  shelves  in  the  cabins  of  the  val- 
leys, shook  windows  to  pieces  in  their  sashes,  and  even  star- 
tled the  quiet  inhabitants  of  Rutherfordton,  seventeen  miles 
away.  Since  then  rumblings  have  occasionally  been  heard, 
and  some  people  say  they  have  seen  smoke  rising  in  the  atmos- 
phere. There  is  an  idea,  wide-spread,  that  the  mountain  is 
an  extinct  volcano.  As  evidence  of  a  crater,  they  point  to  a 
fissure  about  half  a  mile  long,  six  feet  wide  in  some  places,  and 
of  unmeasured  depth.  This  fissure,  bordered  with  trees, 
extends  across  the  eastern  end  of  the  peak.  But  the  crater 
idea  is  effectually  choked  up  by  the  fact  that  the  crack  is  of 
recent  appearance.  The  crack  widens  even-  year  and,  as  it 
widens,  stones  are  dislodged  from  the  mountain  steeps.  Their 
thundering  falls  from  the  heights  may  explain  the  rumbling, 
and  their  clouds  of  dust  account  for  what  appears  to  be  smoke. 
The  widening  of  the  crack  is  possibly  due  to  the  gradual  up- 
heaval of  the  mountain."8 

Trial  of  Thomas  W.  Strange.  On  the  27th  day  of  April, 
1876,  Thomas  W.  Strange  was  acquitted  in  Asheville  for  the 
murder  on  the  19th  of  August,  1875,  of  James  A.  Murray  of 
Haywood  county  before  Judge  Samuel  Watts  and  the  follow- 
ing jurors:  W.  P.  Bassett,  J.  L. "Weaver,  John  H.  Murphy, 
Owen  Smith,  W.  W.  McDowell,  B.  F.  Young,  John  Chesbrough, 
G.  W.  Whitson,  S.  M.  Banks,  W.  A.  Weddin,  and  P.  F.  Pat- 
ton.  W.  L.  Tate  of  Waynesville  was  the  solicitor.  There 
was  much  feeling  in  Haywood  and  Buncombe  counties  because 
of  this  acquittal.  During  his  confinement  in  jail  Preston  L. 
Bridgers,  his  friend,  voluntarily  stayed  with  Thomas  Strange. 
The  court  was  held  in  the  chapel  of  the  Asheville  Female 
College,  now  the  high  school.  Judge  Watts  was  from  the 
eastern  part  of  the  State  and  was  nick-named  "Greasy  Sam." 

"Big  Tom'-  Wilson.  Thomas  D.  Wilson,  commonly  known 
as  "Big  Tom,"  on  account  of  his  great  size,  was  born  Decem- 
ber 1,  1825,  on  Toe  river,  near  the  mouth  of  Crabtree  creek, 
in  the  Deyton  Bend.  The  *'D"  in  his  name  was  solely  for 
euphony.  He  married  Niagara  Ray,  daughter  of  Amos  L. 
Ray,  and  settled  at  the  Green  Ponds,  afterwards  known  as  the 
Murchison  boundary.     The  place  was  so  called  because  of 


304        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

several  pools  or  ponds  in  Cane  river,  on  the  rock  bottom  of 
which  a  green  moss  grows.  He  died  at  a  great  age  a  few 
years  ago.  He  was  a  great  woodsman,  hunter  and  trapper — 
a  typical  frontiersman,  picturesque  in  appearance  and  original 
in  speech  and  manner.  He  is  said  to  have  killed  over  one 
hundred  bears  during  his  life.  His  knowledge  of  woodcraft 
enabled  him  to  discover  Prof.  Mitchell's  trail,  resulting  in  the 
recovery  of  his  body,  when  the  scientist  lost  his  life  on  Black 
mountain  in  the  summer  of  1857. x  3 

Lewis  Redmond,  Outlaw.  He  was  part  Indian,  and  was 
born  and  reared  in  Transylvania  county,  having  "hawk-like 
eyes  and  raven-black  hair."  When  fifteen  years  of  age  he 
was  taken  into  the  family  of  "Uncle  Wash  Galloway,"  a 
pioneer  farmer  of  the  county,  and  after  he  was  grown  and  had 
left  his  home  at  Galloway's,  he  began  "  moonshining. "  War- 
rants were  issued  for  his  arrest,  but  the  deputy  United  States 
marshals  were  afraid  to  arrest  him.  Marshal  R.  M.  Doug- 
lass, however,  deputized  Alfred  F.  Duckworth  a  member  of 
a  large  and  influential  family  of  Transylvania  county.  Red- 
mond had  sworn  he  would  not  be  arrested,  but  young  Duck- 
worth went  after  him  notwithstanding.  Another  deputy  by 
the  name  of  Lankford  accompanied  him.  They  came  up 
with  Redmond  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  East  Fork,  March 
1,  1876.  Redmond  and  his  brother-in-law  Ladd  were  driving 
a  wagon.  Duckworth  told  Redmond  to  stop,  as  he  had  a 
warrant  for  his  arrest.  Redmond  stopped  the  wagon,  and 
asked  to  hear  the  warrant  read.  Duckworth  dismounted 
from  his  horse  and  began  reading  the  warrant,  but  holding 
his  pistol  in  one  of  his  hands  while  he  did  so.  Redmond  said, 
"All  right,  put  up  your  pistol,  Alf,  I  will  go  along  with  you." 
While  Duckworth  was  putting  his  pistol  in  his  pocket,  Ladd 
passed  a  pistol  to  Duckworth,  and  before  "a  man  standing 
near  by  could  speak,"  Redmond  put  the  pistol  to  Duckworth's 
throat  and  fired.  Then  he  and  Ladd  jumped  from  the  wagon 
and  ran.  Duckworth  followed  them  a  dozen  or  more  steps, 
firing  his  pistol  as  he  ran;  but  fell  in  the  road  from  the  shock 
of  his  wound.  He  died  soon  after  being  taken  to  his  home, 
and  Redmond  escaped.  Redmond  was  caught  later  in  South 
Carolina  for  some  offence  committed  there,  but  escaped. 9 
Later  on  he  was  captured  in  Swain  county  at  or  near  Maple 
Springs,  five  miles  above  Almond.     He  was  living  in  a  house 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  305 

which  commanded  a  view  of  the  only  approach  to  it,  a  canoe 
landing  and  trail  leading  from  it.  A  posse  crossed  in  the  night 
and  were  in  hiding  near-by  when  daylight  came.  Redmond 
left  the  house  and  went  in  the  upper  part  of  the  clearing  with 
a  gun  to  shoot  a  squirrel.  One  of  the  posse  ordered  him  to 
surrender.  Redmond  whirled  to  shoot  at  him,  when  another 
of  the  posse  fired  on  him  from  another  quarter,  filling  his 
back  with  buckshot,  disabling  but  not  killing  him.  He  was 
taken  to  Bryson  City,  and  while  recuperating  from  his  wounds 
received  a  visit  from  his  wife.  She  managed  to  give  him  a 
pistol  secretly  which  Redmond  concealed  under  his  pillow. 
A  girl  living  in  the  house  found  it  out,  and  told  Judge  Jeter 
C.  Pritchard,  who  was  one  of  the  men  guarding  him  at  that 
time.  He  told  his  companions,  and  it  was  agreed  that  he 
should  disarm  him.  This  was  done,  warning  having  first 
been  given  Redmond  that  if  he  moved  he  would  be  killed. 
"  Redmond  served  a  term  in  the  United  States  prison  at  Albany 
N.  Y.,  and  after  being  released  moved  to  South  Carolina,  where, 
I  am  informed,  he  killed  another  man,  an  officer,  and  was 
again  sent  to  prison."  9  During  the  term  of  Gov.  Wade  Hamp- 
ton a  long  petition,  extensively  signed  by  many  ladies  of 
South  Carolina,  was  presented  to  the  governor  for  his  pardon. 
He  called  himself  a  "Major,"  and  claimed  to  be  dying  of 
tuberculosis.  The  pardon  was  granted  in  1878,  and  Red- 
mond has  given  no  trouble  since.  He  was  never  tried  for 
killing  Duckworth. 1  ° 

Escape  of  Ray  and  Anderson.  In  the  summer  of  1885 
several  prisoners  escaped  from  the  county  jail  on  Valley  street 
in  Asheville.  They  were  J.  P.  Sluder,  charged  with  the  mur- 
der of  L.  C.  Sluder;  C.  M.  York,  also  charged  with  another 
murder;  and  E.  W.  Ray  and  W.  A.  Anderson  of  Mitchell 
county,  who  had  been  convicted  in  Caldwell  county — Ander- 
son of  murder  and  Ray  of  manslaughter,  for  the  killing  of 
three  men  in  a  struggle  for  the  possession  of  a  mica  mine  in 
Mitchell  county.  The  last  two  men  were  members  of  prom- 
inent families.  On  the  night  of  July  3,  1885,  these  men  with 
an  ax  broke  a  hole  in  the  brick  wall  of  the  jail,  and  escaped. 
They  had  forced  the  sheriff,  the  late  J.  R.  Rich,  and  J.  D. 
Henderson,  the  jailor,  into  the  cage  in  which  the  prisoners 
were  confined,  when  they  were  tied  and  gagged.  The  military 
company  was  called  out  to  recapture  the  prisoners,  but  with- 
w.  n.  a— 20 


306        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 


out  result.  Proceedings  were  instituted  against  Rich  and 
Henderson  for  suffering  these  escapes,  but  both  were  acquitted 
in  January,  1886. 

Phenomena  Noted  and  Explained.  In  his  "Speeches 
and  Writings"  (Raleigh,  1877),  Gen.  Thomas  L.  Clingman 
has  described  and  explained  many  phenomena,  among  which 
was  the  meteor  of  1860  (p.  53),  which  was  originally  published 
in  Appleton's  Journal,  January  7,  1871;  the  falling  of  several 
destructive  water-spouts  in  Macon  and  Jackson  counties 
(p.  68)  on  the  15th  of  June,  1876;  and  what  he  terms  "low 
volcanic  action"  in  the  mountains  of  Haywood,  at  the  head 
of  Fines  creek,  which  he  visited  in  1848  and  1851,  and  which 
had  caused  "cracks  in  the  solid  granite  .  .  .  chasms, 
none  of  them  above  four  feet  in  width,  generally  extending 
north  and  south"  where  large  trees  had  been  thrown  down, 
hillocks  on  which  saplings  grew  obliquely  to  the  horizon, 
showing  they  had  attained  some  size  before  the  hillocks  were 
elevated.  He  again  visited  this  place  in  1867,  when  he  saw 
evidences  of  further  disturbances,  a  large  "oak  tree  of  great 
age  and  four  or  five  feet  in  diameter  having  been  split  open 
from  root  to  top  and  thrown  down  so  that  the  two  halves  lay 
several  feet  apart"  (p.  78  et  seq.).  This  was  first  published 
in  the  National  Intelligencer  of  November  15,  1848. 

A  Crime  Necessitating  Legislation.  It  was  on  the  Cher- 
okee county  boundary  line  that  on  the  11th  day  of  July,  1892, 
William  Hall  shot  and  killed  Andrew  Bryson.  He  stood  on 
the  North  Carolina  side  of  the  boundary  line  between  the  two 
States  and,  shooting  across  that  line,  killed  Bryson  while  he 
was  in  Tennessee.  William  Hall  and  John  Dickey  were  tried 
with  Hall  as  accessories  before  the  fact,  and  all  were  convicted 
of  murder  at  the  spring  term  of  the  Superior  court  of  Cherokee 
county  in  1893.  But  the  Supreme  court  granted  a  new  trial 
at  the  February  term  of  1894  l  x  on  the  ground  that  Hall  could 
not  be  guilty  of  homicide  in  Tennessee.  This  decision  was 
immediately  followed  by  efforts  on  the  part  of  the  State  of 
Tennessee  to  extradite  the  defendants  under  the  act  of  Con- 
gress, but  the  Supreme  court  of  North  Carolina  held  on  habeas 
corpus  proceedings  :  2  that  no  one  can  be  alleged  to  have  fled 
from  the  justice  of  a  State  in  whose  domain  he  has  never  been 
corporeally  present  since  the  commission  of  the  crime.  The 
prisoners  were  discharged  and  have  never  been  tried  again  in 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  307 

North  Carolina.  These  decisions  were  followed  by  remedial 
legislation  embodied  in  the  Acts  of  1895,  Chapter  169,  making 
similar  homicides  crimes  in  North  Carolina  as  well  as  in  Ten- 
nessee. 

The  Emma  Burglary.  Following  are  the  facts  of  a  sensa- 
tional burglary  which  occurred  in  Buncombe  county  Febru- 
ary 8,  1901,  as  taken  from  the  case  of  the  State  v.  Foster,  129 
N.  C.  Reports,  p.  704: 

"Indictment  against  Ben  Foster,  R.  S.  Gates,  Harry  Mills  and  Frank 
Johnston,  heard  by  Judge  Frederick  Moore  and  a  jury,  at  June  (Special) 
Term,  1901,  of  the  Superior  Court  of  Buncombe  County.  From  a  ver- 
dict of  guilty  and  judgment  thereon,  the  defendants  appealed. 

"The  facts  are  substantially  as  follows  : 

"D.  J.  McClelland  was  the  owner  of  a  store  at  a  place  called  'Emma', 
a  few  miles  from  the  city  of  Asheville,  in  the  county  of  Buncombe. 
Samuel  H.  Alexander  is  his  clerk,  and  had  been  for  more  than  three 
years  boarding  in  the  family  of  McClelland  and  sleeping  in  the  store. 
There  was  a  room  in  said  store  building  fitted  up  and  furnished  with  a 
bed  and  other  furniture  as  a  sleeping  apartment,  in  which  said  Alexander 
kept  his  trunk  and  other  belongings,  and  slept  there,  and  had  done  so 
regularly  for  three  years  or  more.  On  the  night  of  the  8th  of  February, 
1901,  he  closed  and  fastened  all  the  windows  and  outer  doors  of  said 
store  building,  and  between  eight  and  nine  o'clock  he  went  into  his  bed- 
room, but,  thinking  some  customer  might  come,  and  not  being  ready  to 
retire,  he  left  a  lamp  burning  in  the  store-room.  There  was  a  partition 
wall  between  his  sleeping-room  and  the  store-room,  in  which  there  was 
a  doorway  and  a  shutter,  but  the  shutter  was  rarely  ever  closed  and  was 
not  closed  that  night.  Soon  after  he  went  into  his  sleeping  room,  he 
heard  a  noise  at  one  of  the  outer  doors  of  the  store  building,  and,  think- 
ing it  was  some  one  wanting  to  trade,  he  went  to  the  door  and  asked 
who  was  there.  Some  one  answered  'We  want  to  come  in;  we  want  some 
coffee  and  flour.'  He  then  took  down  the  bar  used  in  securing  the  door, 
unlocked  the  same,  and  when  he  had  opened  the  door  about  twelve 
inches,  still  having  the  knob  in  his  hand,  two  men  forced  the  door  open, 
rushed  in  the  house,  covered  him  with  pistols,  told  him  to  hold  up  his 
hands,  that  they  had  come  for  business.  With  the  pistols  still  drawn 
upon  him,  they  marched  him  into  his  bed-room,  where  they  searched 
him  and  the  things  he  had  in  his  room,  taking  his  pistol  and  other  things. 
They  then  carried  him  into  the  store-room  and  made  an  effort  to  break 
into  the  postoffice  department,  there  being  a  postoffice  kept  there.  But 
not  succeeding  readily  in  getting  into  this,  they  abandoned  it  for  the 
present,  saying  they  supposed  there  was  nothing  in  it,  except  postage 
stamps,  and  they  would  attend  to  them  later.  They  then  turned  their 
attention  to  an  iron  safe  and  compelled  him  to  assist  in  opening  it,  one 
of  them  still  holding  his  pistol  on  him.  After  the  safe  was  open  and 
one  of  them  going  through  it,  taking  what  money  and  other  valuables 
he  found,  a  cat  made  a  noise  in  the  back  part  of  the  store,  and  the  man 


308        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

with  the  pistol  bearing  on  him  turned  his  attention  to  that;  and,  as  he 
did  so,  Alexander  seized  his  own  pistol  they  had  taken  from  his  room 
and  which  the  man  who  was  robbing  the  safe  had  laid  on  the  end  of  the 
counter,  and  shot  the  man  robbing  the  safe,  and  also  shot  the  other  man, 
but,  in  the  meantime,  the  man  whose  attention  had  been  attracted  by 
the  cat  shot  Alexander.  They  were  all  badly  shot,  but  none  of  them 
died." 

This  testimony  was  that  of  Alexander  alone,  neither  prisoner 
going  on  the  stand.  Henry  Mills  and  R.  S.  Gates,  indicted 
as  being  present,  aiding  and  abetting,  were  tried  with  Ben 
Foster  and  Frank  Johnston,  charged  as  principals.  All  were 
convicted  of  burglary  in  the  first  degree.  The  judgment  was 
sustained  and  Ben  Foster  and  Frank  Johnston  were  hanged 
at  Asheville,  the  governor  having  commuted  the  sentence  of 
the  two  others  to  life  imprisonment  in  the  penitentiary. 

Nancy  Hanks  Tradition.  For  a  hundred  years  a  tradi- 
tion has  persisted  in  these  mountains  to  the  effect  that  between 
1803  and  1808  Abraham  Enloe  came  from  Rutherford  county 
and  settled,  first  on  Soco  creek,  and  afterwards  on  Ocona 
Lufty,  about  seven  miles  from  Whittier,  in  what  is  now 
Swain  county;  that  he  brought  with  his  family  a  girl  whose 
name  was  Nancy  Hanks;  that  this  girl  lived  in  Enloe's  family 
till  after  his  daughter  Nancy  ran  away  with  and  married  a 
man  named  Thompson,  from  Hardin  county,  Ky.  An  inti- 
macy had  grown  up  between  Nancy  Hanks  and  Abraham 
Enloe,  and  a  son  was  born  to  her,  which  caused  Enloe's  wife, 
whose  maiden  name  had  been  Edgerton,  to  suspect  that  her 
husband  was  the  father  of  Nancy's  child.  Soon  after  the 
birth  of  this  child,  the  tradition  relates,  Mrs.  Nancy  Thomp- 
son came  to  visit  her  parents  and  on  her  return  to  Kentucky 
or  Tennessee  took  Nancy  Hanks  and  her  son  with  her,  much 
to  Mrs.  Enloe's  relief.  Abraham  Enloe  is  said  to  have  been 
a  large,  tall,  dark  man,  a  horse  and  slave  trader,14  a  justice 
of  the  peace  and  the  leading  man  in  his  community.  Thus 
far  the  tradition  as  given  above  is  supported  by  such  repu- 
table citizens  as  the  following,  most  of  whom  are  now  dead: 
Col.  Allen  T.  Davidson,  whose  sister  Celia  married  into  the 
Enloe  family,  Captain  James  W.  Terrell,  the  late  Epp  Ever- 
ett of  Bryson  City,  Phillip  Dills  of  Dillsborough,  Abraham 
Battle  of  Haywood,  Wm.  H.  Conley  of  Haywood,  Judge  Gil- 
more  of  Fort  Worth,  Texas,  H.  J.  Beck  of  Ocona  Lufty,  D.  K. 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  309 


Collins  of  Bryson  City,  Col.  W.  H.  Thomas  and  the  late  John 
D.  Mingus,  son-in-law  of  Abraham  Enloe. 

Abraham  Lincoln  Tells  of  His  Parentage.  That  the 
child  so  born  to  Nancy  Hanks  on  Ocona  Lufty  was  Abraham 
Lincoln  is  supported  by  the  alleged  statements  that  in  the 
fall  of  1861  a  young  man  named  Davis,  of  Rutherford,  had, 
during  the  fifties,  settled  near  Springfield,  111.,  where  he 
became  intimate  with  Abraham  Lincoln  and  "in  a  private  and 
confidential  talk  which  he  had  with  Mr.  Lincoln,  the  latter 
told  him  that  he  was  of  Southern  extraction;  that  his  right 
name  was,  or  ought  to  have  been,  Enloe,  but  that  he  had 
always  gone  by  the  name  of  his  step-father."14  After  the 
Civil  War  a  man  representing  himself  as  a  son  of  Mrs.  Nancy 
Thompson,  a  daughter  of  Abraham  Enloe  of  Ocona  Lufty, 
called  on  the  late  Col.  Allen  T.  Davidson,  a  lawyer,  in  his 
office  in  Asheville,  and  told  him  that  President  Lincoln  had 
appointed  him  Indian  agent  or  to  some  other  office  in  the 
Indian  service  "because  he  (Lincoln)  was  under  some  great 
obligation  to  Thompson's  mother,  and  desired  to  aid  her, 
and  at  her  request  he  made  her  son  Indian  agent."15  Col. 
Davidson  as  a  lawyer  had  settled  the  Abraham  Enloe  estate, 
had  heard  of  this  tradition  all  his  life  and  had  no  doubt  as  to 
its  truth.  There  is  another  version  to  the  effect  that  the 
child  Abraham  was  not  born  till  after  his  mother  had  reached 
Kentucky  and  also  that  Felix  Walker,  then  congressman  from 
the  mountain  district,  aided  Nancy  Hanks  in  getting  to  Ten- 
nessee, where  Thompson  lived. 

"Truth  is  Stranger  than  Fiction."  The  above  facts 
or  statements  have  been  taken  from  a  small  book  of  the  name 
given,  by  James  H.  Cathey,  once  a  member  of  the  North 
Carolina  legislature,  and  a  resident  of  Jackson  county.  It 
was  published  in  1899.  The  various  statements  upon  which 
the  tradition  was  based  are  set  forth  in  detail,  accompanied 
by  short  biographies  of  each  person  named.  No  one  can 
read  these  accounts  without  being  impressed  with  their  air 
of  truthfulness. 

Evidence  Sustaining  the  Enloe  Parentage.  The  late 
Captain  James  W.  Terrell  refers  to  an  article  in  Bledsoe's  Re- 
view "in  which  the  writer  gives  an  account  of  a  difficulty 
between  Mr.  Lincoln's  reputed  father  and  a  man  named 
Enloe"  (p.  47)  and  states,  as  one  of  the  reasons  for  sending 


310        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Nancy  Hanks  to  Kentucky,  the  fact  that  at  that  time  some 
of  the  Enloe  kindred  were  living  there  (p.  49).  On  page 
54,  a  Judge  Gilmore,  living  then  within  three  miles  of  Fort 
Worth,  Texas,  told  Joseph  A.  Collins  of  Clyde,  Haywood 
county,  North  Carolina,  that  he  knew  Nancy  Hanks  before 
she  was  married,  and  that  she  then  had  a  child  she  called 
Abraham;  that  she  afterwards  married  a  man  by  the  name 
of  Lincoln,  a  whiskey  distiller,  and  very  poor,  and  that  they 
lived  in  a  small  house. 1 6  Col.  T.  G.  C.  Davis  of  St. 
Louis,  Mo.,  a  native  of  Kentucky,  a  cousin  of  President 
Jefferson  Davis,  a  lawyer  who  once  practiced  law  with  Mr. 
Lincoln  in  Illinois,  is  quoted  as  saying  that  he  knew  the  mother 
of  Lincoln;  that  he  was  raised  in  the  same  neighborhood;  and 
that  it  was  generally  understood,  without  question,  in  that 
neighborhood,  that  Lincoln,  the  man  that  married  the  Pres- 
ident's mother,  was  not  the  father  of  the  President,  but  that 
his  father's  name  was  Enloe"  (p.  78).  The  foregoing  are  the 
most  important  facts  alleged;  but  there  is  one  statement,  on 
page  55,  to  the  effect  that  a  man  named  Wells  visited  the 
Enloe  home  while  Nancy  Hanks  was  there  and  witnessed  a 
disagreement  or  coolness  between  Enloe  and  his  wife  on  her 
account.  This  man  said  he  had  gone  there  while  selling  tin- 
ware and  buying  furs,  feathers  and  ginseng  for  William  John- 
ston of  Waynesville.  This  could  not  have  been  true,  as  Wil- 
liam Johnston  did  not  emigrate  from  Ireland  to  Charleston 
till  1818.  Soon  after  the  appearance  of  this  book  the  writer 
visited  Wesley  Enloe  at  his  home  on  Ocona  Lufty  for  the  pur- 
pose of  learning  what  he  could  of  his  connection  with  Abraham 
Lincoln;  but,  like  the  correspondent  of  the  Charlotte  Observer 
of  September  17,  1893  (quoted  on  pages  63  et  seq.),  I  did  not 
observe  any  likeness  between  him  and  the  pictures  of  Mr. 
Lincoln  which  I  had  seen,  as  Mr.  Enloe  was  blue-eyed  and 
florid.  He  also  stated  to  me  that  he  had  never  heard  his 
father's  name  mentioned  in  his  family  in  connection  with 
Abraham  Lincoln's,  just  as  he  stated  to  that  correspondent, 
on  page  70. 

Clark  W.  Thompson.  Col.  Davidson  was  a  man  of  such 
unquestioned  integrity  that  any  statement  from  him  is  worthy 
of  belief;  and  in  the  interest  of  truth  a  letter  was  written  to 
the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs,  Washington,  on  March 
8,  1913,  asking  "whether  a  man  named  Thompson  was  ever 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  3 1 1 

appointed  by  President  Lincoln  to  some  position  in  the  Indian 
Service,"  and  on  the  25th  of  the  same  month,  Hon.  F.  H. 
Abbott,  acting  commissioner,  wrote  as  follows :  ".  .  .  You 
are  advised  that  the  records  show  that  Clark  W.  Thompson, 
of  Minnesota,  was  nominated  by  President  Lincoln  to  be  Su- 
perintendent of  Indian  Affairs  for  the  northern  superintendency 
on  March  26,  1861,  and  his  appointment  was  confirmed  by 
the  Senate  on  the  following  day.  There  is  nothing  in  the  rec- 
ord to  show  reasons  influencing  this  appointment.  .  .  .  " 
Of  course  this  does  not  prove  that  Clark  W.  Thompson  was  a 
son  of  Mrs.  Nancy  Enloe  Thompson,  and  is  merely  given  for 
what  it  may  be  worth.  In  "The  Child  That  Toileth  Not," 
Major  Dawley,  its  author,  says  (p.  271) :  "Where  Mingus  creek 
joins  Ocona  Lufty,  in  a  broad  bottom,  is  an  old,  partially 
demolished  log-house,  used  as  a  barn,  in  which  tradition  says 
that  Nancy  Hanks,  the  mother  of  Lincoln,  served  as  a  house 
girl,"  etc. 

The  Nancy  Hanks  History.  As  opposed  to  this  tradi- 
tional evidence  we  have  the  voluminous  history  of  Nickolay 
and  Hay,  Mr.  Lincoln's  secretaries,  called  "Abraham  Lin- 
coln," in  which  the  fact  that  the  immortal  President's  mother 
was  married  to  Thomas  Lincoln  June  12,  1806,  by  Rev.  Jesse 
Head,  at  Beechland,  near  Elizabethton,  Washington  county, 
Ky.,  and  a  copy  of  his  marriage  bond  for  fifty  pounds,  as  was 
then  required  by  the  laws  of  Kentucky,  is  set  forth  in  full,  with 
Richard  Barry  as  surety.  In  addition  to  this,  there  was 
published  by  Doubleday  &  McClure  Co.,  New  York,  in  1899, 
by  Carolina  Hanks  Hitchcock,  "Nancy  Hanks,  the  Story  of 
Abraham  Lincoln's  Mother,"  giving  in  detail  the  facts  of  her 
birth  in  Virginia,  her  removal  to  Kentucky  with  her  family, 
and  her  marriage  to  Thomas  Lincoln  on  the  date  above  given, 
and  many  other  facts  which,  it  would  seem,  place  this  date 
beyond  all  doubt.  Col.  Henry  Watterson,  in  an  address, 
presenting  the  Speed  statue  of  Lincoln  to  the  State  of  Ken- 
tucky and  the  Nation,  November  8,  1911,  said:  "Let  me 
speak  with  some  particularity  and  the  authority  of  fact, 
tardily  but  conclusively  ascertained,  touching  the  . 
maternity  of  Abraham  Lincoln.  Few  passages  of  history 
have  been  so  greatly  misrepresented  and  misconceived. 
Some  confusion  was  made  by  his  own  mistake  as  to  the 
marriage    of    his    father    and    mother,   which    had    not  been 


312        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

celebrated   in    Hardin    county,    but    in    Washington    county, 
Kentucky,  the  absence  of  any  marriage  papers  in  the  old  court 
house  at  Elizabethton,   the  county  seat  of  Hardin  county, 
leading  to  the  notion  that  there  had  never  been  any  marriage 
at  all.     It  is  easy  to  conceive  that  such  a  discrepancy  might 
give  occasion  for  any  amount  and  all  sorts  of  partisan  falsifi- 
cation, the  distorted  stories  winning  popular  belief  among  the 
credulous  and  inflamed.     Lincoln  himself  died  without  surely 
knowing  that  he  was  born  in  honest  wedlock  and  came  from 
an  ancestry  upon  both  sides  of  which  he  had  no  reason  to  be 
ashamed.     For  a  long  time  a  cloud  hung  over  the  name  of 
Nancy  Hanks,  the  mother  of  Abraham  Lincoln.     Persistent 
and  intelligent  research  has  brought  about  a  vindication  in 
every  way  complete.     It  has  been  clearly  established  that 
as  the  ward  of  a  decent  family  she  lived  a  happy  and  indus- 
trious  girl  until   she  was   twenty-three  years   of  age,   when 
Thomas  Lincoln,  who  had  learned  his  carpenter's  trade  of 
one  of  her  uncles,  married  her,  June  12,  1806.     The  entire 
record  is  in  existence  and  intact.     The  marriage  bond  to  the 
amount   of   50   pounds     .      .      .      was   duly   recorded   seven 
days  before  the  wedding,  which  was  solemnized  as  became 
well-to-do  folk  in  those  days.     The  uncle  and  aunt  gave  an 
'infare',  to  which  the  neighboring  countryside  was  invited. 
Dr.  Christopher  Columbus  Graham,  one  of  the  best  known 
and  most  highly  respected  of  Kentuckians,  before  his  death 
in  1885,  wrote  at  my  request  his  remembrances  of  that  festi- 
val and  testified  to  this  before  a  notary  public  in  the  ninety- 
sixth  year  of  his  age."     (The  affidavit  is  set  forth  in  full.) 17 
Why  the  Tradition  Persists.     After  reading  the  foregoing 
article,  a  feeling  of  indignation  naturally  arises  that  anyone 
should  longer  doubt  or  discuss  the  legitimacy  of  the  Great 
Emancipator,  and  it  was  that  feeling  which  led  to  an  exami- 
nation of  the  "authority  of  fact  tardily  but  conclusively  ascer- 
tained touching  the  maternity  of  Abraham  Lincoln."     Nat- 
urally, too,  the  story  was  ascribed  to  "partisan  falsification." 
Nicolay  and  Hay's  account  seemed  to  fix  the  date  of  the  mar- 
riage as  in  June,  1806,  since  the  marriage  bond  is  dated  on 
June  10th;  and  Miss  Tarbell  has  settled  the  exact  date  as  of 
June  12th  of  that  year.     So  far,  so  good.     But  Miss  Tarbell 
states  (Vol.  I,  7)  that  Mrs.  Caroline  Hanks  Hitchcock  had 
compiled  the  genealogy  of  the  Hanks  family,  which,  "though 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  313 

not  yet  printed,  has  fortunately  cleared  up  the  mystery  of 
her  birth."  This  little  book,  now  out  of  print, 18  was  obtained 
after  great  trouble,  and  what  was  found?  That  instead  of 
clearing  up  the  mystery  of  Nancy  Hanks'  birth,  Mrs.  Hitch- 
cock has  only  made  confusion  worse  confounded.  In  fact, 
she  shows  that  Thomas  Lincoln  married  an  altogether  differ- 
ent Nancy  Hanks  from  the  one  the  President  remembered, 
the  one  Dennis  Hanks  knew,  and  the  one  Herndon  has  so 
particularly  described  in  his  carefully  prepared  work  on  the 
origin  of  Abraham  Lincoln.  She  also  discredits  every  sub- 
sequent statement  by  trying  to  show  that  Thomas  Lincoln 
was  not  "the  shiftless  character"  he  has  been  represented  as 
being  (p.  54).  After  that,  one  naturally  looks  with  suspi- 
cion upon  every  statement  of  fact  in  the  little  volume. 

The  Lineage  of  Lincoln  's  Real  Mother.  Almost  imme- 
diately after  the  death  of  Mr.  Lincoln  his  former  law  partner, 
Wm.  H.  Herndon,  Esq.,  set  out  to  interview  every  member 
of  the  Lincoln  and  Hanks  families  then  living.  He  kept  up 
this  investigation  for  years.  What  did  Abraham  Lincoln 
himself  have  to  say  as  to  who  his  mother  was?  Herndon  says 
(p.  3)  that  in  1850,  while  they  were  in  a  buggy  together,  going 
to  Menard  county  court,  Lincoln  told  him  that  his  mother 
"was  the  daughter  of  Lucy  Hanks  and  a  well-bred  but  obscure 
Virginia  farmer."  Who  that  farmer  was  is  not  stated;  but 
Lucy  Hanks,  after  the  birth  of  Nancy,  married  a  man  named 
Henry  Sparrow,  and  Nicolay  and  Hay  say  that  Nancy  Hanks 
was  sometimes  called  Nancy  Sparrow  (Vol.  I,  p.  7).  Hern- 
don also  says  with  exactness  (p.  10)  that  "Nancy  Hanks,  the 
mother  of  the  President,  at  a  very  early  age,  was  taken  from 
her  mother  Lucy — afterwards  married  to  Henry  Sparrow — 
and  sent  to  live  with  her  aunt  and  uncle,  Thomas  and  Betsy 
Sparrow.  Under  this  same  roof  the  irrepressible  and  cheer- 
ful waif,  Dennis  Hanks,  .  '.  .  also  found  shelter. "  Now 
who  was  Dennis  Hanks?  He  was  the  illegitimate  son  of 
Nancy  Hanks  and  Friend.  Which  Nancy  Hanks  was  this? 
The  sister  of  Lucy  Hanks  (p.  10).  Miss  Tarbell  calls  him 
Dennis  Friend  (pp.  14  and  25)  and  says  misfortune  had 
made  him  an  inmate  of  Thomas  Lincoln's  Indiana  home. 

The  Lineage  of  Mrs.  Hitchcock's  Nancy  Hanks.  Her 
father  was  Joseph  Hanks  and  her  mother  Nancy  Shipley,  and 
was  born  February  5,  1784,  (p.  25)  and  came  with  her  parents 


314        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

from  Virginia  to  Kentucky  about  1789,  and  settled  near  Eliza- 
bethton  in  what  is  now  Nelson  county  (p.  40).  Her  father  died 
January  9,  1793,  and  his  will  was  probated  May  14,  1793,  by 
which  her  brother  Joseph  got  all  her  parents'  land  and  she 
herself  got  a  pied  heifer,  although  there  were  eight  children — 
Joseph  Hanks,  Sr.'s  widow  and  his  son  William  being  executors 
(pp.  43-45).  Miss  Tarbell  adopts  the  same  lineage  for  her 
Nancy  (p.  8),  and  they  both  place  this  Nancy  in  the  home  of 
Lucy  Shipley,  wife  of  Richard  Berry,  when  Nancy  was  nine 
years  old. 

Physical  Characteristics  of  Lincoln's  Real  Mother. 
Herndon  says  (p.  10)  that  "at  the  time  of  her  marriage  to 
Thomas  Lincoln,  Nancy  was  in  her  23d  year.  She  was 
above  the  ordinary  height  in  stature,  weighed  about  130 
pounds,  was  slenderly  built,  and  had  much  the  appearance 
of  one  inclined  to  consumption.  Her  skin  was  dark;  hair  dark 
brown;  eyes  gray  and  small;  forehead  prominent;  face  sharp 
and  angular,  with  a  marked  expression  of  melancholy  which 
fixed  itself  in  the  memory  of  everyone  who  ever  saw  or  knew 
her.      ..." 

Physical  Features  of  Mrs.  Hitchcock's  Nancy.  "  Bright, 
scintillating,  noted  for  her  keen  wit  and  repartee,  she  had 
withal  a  loving  heart,"  is  Mrs.  Hitchcock's  (p.  51)  notion 
of  Nancy  Hanks'  manner.  "Traditions  of  Nancy  Hanks' 
appearance  at  this  time  [of  her  marriage]  all  agree  in  calling 
her  a  beautiful  girl.  She  is  said  to  have  been  of  medium 
height,  weighing  about  130  pounds  (p.  59),  light  hair,  beauti- 
ful eyes,  a  sweet,  sensitive  mouth,  and  a  kindly  and  gentle 
manner."  In  another  place  (p.  73)  she  says  that  when  Nancy 
Hanks  went  to  her  cousins',  Frank  and  Ned  Berry,  the  legend 
is  that  "her  cheerful  disposition  and  active  habits  were  a 
dower  to  those  pioneers."  Frank  and  Ned  were  sons  of 
Richard  Berry. 

Herndon 's  Thomas  Lincoln.  "Thomas  was  roving  and 
shiftless.  .  .  .  He  was  proverbially  slow  of  movement, 
mentally  and  physically;  was  careless,  inert  and  dull.  He 
had  a  liking  for  jokes  and  stories.  ...  At  the  time  of  his 
marriage  to  Nancy  Hanks  he  could  neither  read  nor  write 
(p.  8).  .  .  .  He  was  a  carpenter  by  trade,  and  essayed 
farming,  too;  but  in  this,  as  in  almost  every  other  undertaking, 
he  was  singularly  unsuccessful.     He  was  placed  in  possession 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  315 

of  several  tracts  of  land  at  different  times  in  his  life,  but  was 
never  able  to  pay  for  a  single  one  of  them"  (p.  9).  He 
hunted  for  game  only  when  driven  to  do  so  by  hunger  (p.  29). 

Mrs.  Hitchcock's  Thomas  Lincoln.  "Thomas  Lincoln 
had  been  forced  to  shift  for  himself  in  a  young  and  undevel- 
oped country  (p.  56).  He  had  no  bad  habits,  was  temper- 
ate and  a  church-goer"  (p.  54).  She  quotes  an  affidavit  of 
Dr.  C.  C.  Graham  to  the  effect  that  he  was  present  at  the 
marriage  of  Thomas  Lincoln,  but  he  says  nothing  more  of 
him,  except  that  he  had  one  feather  bed,  and  when  the  doctor 
was  there,  Thomas  and  his  wife  slept  on  the  floor.  This  same 
Dr.  Graham  is  quoted  as  saying  that  it  is  untrue  that  Thomas 
kept  his  family  in  a  doorless  and  windowless  house.  But 
Miss  Tarbell  (p.  19)  and  Herndon  (p.  18)  say  that  Thomas 
Lincoln  kept  his  family  in  a  "half-face  camp"  for  a  year, 
and  that  after  the  cabin  was  built  it  had  but  one  room  and  a 
loft,  with  no  window,  door  or  floor;  not  even  the  traditional 
deer-skin  hung  before  the  exit;  there  was  no  oiled  paper  over 
the  opening  for  light;  there  was  no  puncheon  floor  on  the 
ground  .  .  .  and  there  were  few  families,  even  in 
that  day  who  were  forced  to  practice  more  make-shifts  to  get 
a  living";  and  that  sometimes  the  only  food  on  the  table  was 
potatoes  (p.  20).  And  yet  Mrs.  Hitchcock  says  he  was  not 
shiftless! 

Abraham  Lincoln  and  His  Parents.  Mr.  Herndon  says 
(p.  1)  that  if  Mr.  Lincoln  ever  mentioned  the  subject  of  his 
parents  at  all  it  was  with  great  reluctance  and  with  sig- 
nificant reserve.  "There  was  something  about  his  origin  he 
never  cared  to  dwell  upon."  To  a  Mr.  Scripps  of  the  Chi- 
cago Tribune,  in  1860,  Mr.  Lincoln  communicated  some  facts 
concerning  his  ancestry  which  he  did  not  wish  to  have  pub- 
lished then  and  which  Scripps  never  revealed  to  anyone" 
(p.  2).  In  the  record  of  his  family  which  Mr.  Lincoln  gave 
to  Jesse  W.  Fell,  he  does  not  even  give  his  mother's  maiden 
name;  but  says  that  she  came  "of  a  family  of  the  name  of 
Hanks."  (Footnote  on  page  3).  He  gives  but  three  lines  to 
his  mother  and  nearly  a  page  to  the  Lincolns.  And  "Mr. 
Lincoln  himself  said  to  me  in  1851  .  .  .  that  whatever 
might  be  said  of  his  parents  and  however  unpromising  the 
early  surroundings  of  his  mother  may  have  been,  she  was 
highly  intellectual   by  nature,  had  a  strong  memory,  acute 


316        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

judgment,  and  was  cool  and  heroic"  (p.  11).  His  school 
days  he  never  alluded  to;  and  Herndon  says  he  slept  in  the 
loft  of  the  Indiana  cabin,  which  he  reached  by  climbing  on 
pegs  driven  in  the  wall,  while  Miss  Tarbell  says  that  "he 
slept  on  a  heap  of  dry  leaves  in  a  corner  of  the  loft"  (p.  19), 
while  his  parents  reclined  on  a  bedstead  made  of  poles  rest- 
ing between  the  logs  and  on  a  crotched  stick,  with  skins  for 
the  chief  covering."  Although  in  the  highest  office  in  the 
land  for  four  years  before  his  death,  Mr.  Lincoln  left  his 
mother's  grave  unmarked,  and  when  his  father  was  dying  he 
allowed  sickness  in  his  own  family  to  deter  him  from  paying 
him  a  last  visit,  writing  instead  a  letter  advising  him  to  put 
his  trust  in  God. 

Herndon's  Estimate  of  the  Hankses.  "As  a  family 
the  Hankses  were  peculiar  to  the  civilization  of  early  Ken- 
tucky. Illiterate  and  superstitious,  they  corresponded  to 
that  nomadic  class  still  to  be  met  with  throughout  the  South, 
and  known  as  'poor  whites.'  They  are  happily  and  vividly 
depicted  in  the  description  of  a  camp-meeting  held  at  Eliza- 
bethton,  Ky.,  in  1806,  which  was  furnished  me  in  August,  1865, 
by  an  eye-witness  (J.  B.  Helm).  'The  Hanks  girls',  narrates 
the  latter,  'were  great  at  Camp-meetings,'"  and  the  scene 
is  then  described  of  a  young  man  and  young  woman  with 
their  clothing  arranged  for  what  was  to  follow,  who  approached 
and  embraced  each  other  in  front  of  the  congregation:  "When 
the  altar  was  reached  the  two  closed,  with  their  arms  around 
each  other,  the  man  singing  and  shouting  at  the  top  of  his 
voice,  'I  have  my  Jesus  in  my  arms,  sweet  as  honey,  strong 
as  baconham.'  She  was  a  Hanks,  and  the  couple  were  to 
be  married  the  next  week;  but  whether  she  was  Nancy  Hanks 
or  not  my  informant  does  not  state;  though,  as  she  did  marry 
that  year,  gives  color  to  the  belief  that  she  was.  But  the 
performance  described  must  have  required  a  little  more  emo- 
tion and  enthusiasm  than  the  tardy  and  inert  carpenter  was 
in  the  habit  of  manifesting"  (p.  12). 

Confirmation  of  the  Enloe  Tradition.  One  might 
suppose  that  the  Enloe  story  has  no  other  basis  than  that  re- 
corded in  Mr.  Cathey's  book.  But  this  is  far  from  being  the 
fact,  though  most  of  the  biographers  of  Lincoln  make  no 
reference  to  the  Enloes  whatever.  But  Mr.  Herndon,  on 
page  27,   remarks  of  Thomas   Lincoln's  second    wife,  Sarah 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  317 

Bush,  that  her  social  status  is  fixed  by  the  comparison  of  a 
neighbor  who  contrasted  the  "life  among  the  Hankses,  the 
Lincolns,  and  the  Enloes  with  that  among  the  Bushes,  Sarah 
having  married  Daniel  Johnston,  the  jailer,  as  her  first  matri- 
monial venture.  Dr.  C.  C.  Graham,  in  his  hundredth  year,  made 
a  statement  as  to  the  Lincoln  family,  which  is  published  in  full 
by  McClure's  in  magazine  form  and  called  "The  Early  Life 
of  Abraham  Lincoln,"  by  Ida  M.  Tarbell.  This  is  dated  in 
1896.  Herndon  and  all  the  biographers  agree  that,  although 
so  old,  Dr.  Graham  was  a  competent  witness  as  to  Lincoln's 
early  life.  Indeed,  all  of  pages  227  to  232  of  this  little  maga- 
zine book  are  devoted  to  testimonials  establishing  his  credi- 
bility. But,  although  Tarbell's  Life  of  Lincoln  is  an  enlarge- 
ment of  this  magazine  story,  and  contains  four  large  volumes, 
very  little  of  Dr.  Graham's  long  statement,  covering  over 
five  closely  printed  pages,  is  preserved.  And  among  the  things 
that  have  been  suppressed  is  this:  "Some  said  she  (Nancy 
Hanks,  Thomas  Lincoln's  first  wife)  died  of  heart  trouble, 
from  slanders  about  her  and  old  Abe  Enloe,  called  Inlow 
while  her  Abe,  named  for  the  pioneer  Abraham  Linkhorn, 
was  still  living."  Neither  Mrs.  Hitchcock  nor  Miss  Tarbell 
seems  to  have  attached  the  slightest  importance  to  this  state- 
ment. But  that  is  not  all.  Hernclon  records  the  fact  (p. 
29)  that  when  he  interviewed  Mrs.  Sarah  Bush  Lincoln, 
Thomas  Lincoln's  second  wife,  in  September,  1865,  "She  de- 
clined to  say  much  in  answer  to  my  questions  about  Nancy 
Hanks,  her  predecessor  in  the  Lincoln  household,  but  spoke 
feelingly  of  the  latter 's  daughter  and  son." 

Thus,  it  will  be  observed,  that  most  of  the  testimony  on 
which  the  stories  concerning  Nancy  Hanks  are  based  do  not 
rest  on  the  fabrications  of  his  political  enemies,  but  on  the 
statements  and  significant  silence  of  himself,  his  friends,  rela- 
tives and  biographers. 

The  Calhoun  Tradition.  If  anywhere  in  the  world 
Lincoln  had  enemies,  it  was  in  South  Carolina.  If  anywhere 
in  the  world  a  motive  could  exist  to  ruin  his  political  fortunes, 
it  was  among  the  politicians  of  the  Palmetto  State.  It  is 
true  that  for  years  there  has  been  an  intangible  rumor  about 
John  C.  Calhoun  and  Nancy  Hanks;  but  the  world  must 
perforce  bear  witness  that  such  rumors  have  met  with  little 
or  no  encouragement  from  the  people  of  that  State.     Yet,  dur- 


318        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

ing  all  the  years  that  have  flown  since  early  in  the  last  century, 
many  men  and  women  knew  of  a  story  which  connected  the 
name  of  the  Great  Nullifier  with  that  of  Nancy  Hanks,  the 
mother  of  Abraham  Lincoln.  It  has  lain  untold  all  these 
years;  but  in  1911,  Mr.  D.  J.  Knotts  of  Swansea,  S.  C,  brought 
it  to  the  light  of  day.  The  reason  for  this  delay  was  due  to  the 
respect  that  the  custodians  of  the  secret  entertained  for  the 
wishes  of  the  Calhoun  family.  For,  even  now,  some  of  those 
to  whom  the  facts  had  been  communicated  by  Judge  Orr 
and  Gen.  Burt,  will  not  permit  their  names  to  be  used  in  con- 
nection with  the  story.  But  the  main  facts  seem  to  be  well 
established  by  other  testimony,  and  although  these  articles 
have  been  before  the  public  since  1910,  no  one  has  as  yet 
attempted  their  refutation.  Abbeville  "District,"  as  it  was 
called,  in  South  Carolina,  was  the  home  of  John  C.  Calhoun 
and  of  Gen.  Armistead  Burt,  who  married  Calhoun's  niece. 
They  were  fast  friends  and  political  supporters  of  State 
Rights.  Judge  James  L.  Orr  was  born  in  Craytonville,  S.  C, 
May  12,  1822,  and  was  in  Congress  from  1849  to  1859, 
having  been  speaker  of  the  35th  Congress.  He  thus  began 
his  congressional  career  the  year  after  Mr.  Lincoln  had  com- 
pleted his  single  term;  but  John  C.  Calhoun  was  serving  then 
as  senator,  dying  March  31,  1850.  Judge  Orr  was  probably 
born  in  the  very  tavern  which  had  previously  been  kept  by 
Ann  Hanks  at  Craytonville,  as  Orr's  father  certainly  kept  the 
same  hostelry  during  his  life. 

The  Story  is  Told  at  Last.  During  1911  the  Columbia 
State  published  four  articles  on  the  "Parentage  of  Lincoln," 
by  D.  J.  Knotts,  of  Swansea,  S.  C.  Briefly  stated,  his  story 
is  to  the  effect  that  in  1807,  John  C.  Calhoun  began  the  prac- 
tice of  law  in  Abbeville  county,  where  he  lived  till  his  removal 
to  Fort  Hill  in  1824.  Anderson  county  was  not  established 
till  1828;  but  in  1789  Luke  Hanks  died  and  left  a  will,  which 
was  probated  in  Abbeville  county  in  October  of  that  year,  by 
which  his  widow,  Ann  Hanks,  a  relative  of  Benjamin  Harris  of 
Buncombe  county,  N.  C,  and  John  Haynie  were  made  execu- 
tors. No  deed  can  be  found  to  land  of  Luke  or  Ann  Hanks, 
but  there  is  a  grant  to  210  acres  to  her  brother  in  1797.  How- 
ever, the  appraisers  of  the  property  under  Luke  Hanks'  will 
valued  these  210  acres  at  one  dollar  per  acre,  and  the  personal 
property  at  $500.     Just  how  long  after  Luke's  death  it  was 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  319 

that  his  widow,  Ann  Hanks,  took  charge  of  a  tavern  at  the 
cross  roads,  called  Craytonville  and  Claytonville,  was  not 
stated;  but  it  is  alleged  that  she  kept  this  tavern  in  1807, 
and  for  several  years  thereafter.  This  cross-roads  place  is 
between  Anderson,  Abbeville  and  Pendleton — all  flourishing 
towns  at  this  time.  At  this  tavern  John  C.  Calhoun  stopped 
in  going  to  and  from  the  courts,  and  became  involved  in  a 
love  affair  with  Ann  Hanks'  youngest  child,  Nancy.  At  this 
tavern  also  stopped  Abraham  Enloe  on  his  way  South  from 
Ocona  Lufty  with  negroes  and  stock  for  sale.  With  him 
came  as  a  hireling  Thomas  Lincoln,  the  putative  father  of  the 
President.  Nancy  Hanks  began  to  be  troublesome  and  Mr. 
Calhoun  is  said  to  have  induced  Thomas  Lincoln  to  take  her 
with  him  on  his  return  with  Abraham  Enloe — paying  him 
$500  to  do  so.  Lincoln  is  said  to  have  conducted  Nancy  to 
the  home  of  Abraham  Enloe,  where  she  became  a  member  of 
the  family.  This  is  a  confirmation  of  the  Enloe  tradition, 
except  that  Nancy  is  said  to  have  gone  there  from  Ruther- 
ford county. 

The  Petition  for  Partition.  Ann  Hanks,  who  seems 
to  have  had  a  life  estate  in  the  210  acres  of  land,  must  have 
died  about  1838  or  1839,  for  we  find  that  Luke  Hanks'  heirs 
tried  to  divide  the  property  without  the  aid  of  a  lawyer,  mak- 
ing two  efforts  to  that  end,  but  failing  in  both.  In  1842, 
however,  an  Anderson  attorney  straightened  things  out  by 
bringing  in  Nancy  Hanks  as  the  twelfth  child  of  Luke  and 
Ann  Hanks,  and  the  property  was  divided  into  twelve  equal 
shares,  it  having  been  alleged  that  Nancy  Hanks  had  left  the 
State  and  that  her  whereabouts  were  unknown.  Col.  John 
Martin  became  the  purchaser  of  this  land,  which  is  in  a  neigh- 
borhood called  Ebenezer,  and  is  within  three  or  four  miles 
of  the  tavern  at  Craytonville. 

Lincoln  is  Told  of  a  Remarkable  Resemblance.  In 
1849,  while  John  C.  Calhoun  and  Gen.  Burt  were  attending 
Congress,  young  James  L.  Orr,  not  yet  a  member,  but  wishing 
to  see  the  workings  of  that  body  over  which  he  was  one  day 
to  preside,  made  a  visit  to  Washington,  D.  C,  and  as  he  had 
grown  up  with  the  Hanks  family  near  Craytonville,  he  was 
at  once  impressed  with  the  remarkable  resemblance  between 
those  Anderson  county  Hankses  and  a  raw-boned  member 
from  the  State  of  Illinois,  by  name  Abraham  Lincoln.     He 


320        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

told  Lincoln  of  the  fact,  and  the  latter  replied  that  his  mother's 
name  was  Nancy  Hanks.  Thereupon,  it  is  stated,  Orr  wanted 
to  go  into  particulars,  but  Lincoln  at  once  became  reticent  and 
would  not  discuss  the  matter  further.  This  aroused  Orr's 
suspicions,  and  on  his  return  to  Anderson  he  mentioned  it  to 
the  Hankses  of  Ebenezer,  who  having  but  recently  heard 
the  almost  forgotten  story  of  John  C.  Calhoun's  connection 
with  Nancy  and  her  disappearance  from  the  State  early  in 
the  century  (in  the  partition  case)  related  it  to  Judge  Orr  in 
all  its  details.  Gen.  Burt  also  became  possessed  of  the  story, 
but  guarded  his  secret  jealously,  his  wife  being  Calhoun's 
niece.  But,  when  Lincoln  was  assassinated  Judge  Orr,  who 
was  a  brother  in-law  of  Mrs.  Fannie  Marshall,  a  second  cousin 
of  John  C.  Calhoun,  told  her  and  her  husband  what  he  had 
learned  from  the  Anderson  Hankses:  and  in  1866  Gen.  Armi- 
stead  Burt,  under  the  seal  of  an  inviolable  secrecy,  told  what 
he  knew  to  a  group  of  lawyers  all  of  whom  were  his  friends. 
So  inviolably  have  they  kept  this  secret  that  even  to  this  day 
several  of  them  refuse  to  allow  their  names  to  be  mentioned 
in  connection  with  it.  But  the  Hankses  also  told  their  family 
physician,  Dr.  W.  C.  Brown,  the  story  of  their  kinswoman  and 
John  C.  Calhoun,  and  he  mentioned  it  to  others.  John  Hanks, 
also,  is  said  to  have  told  Dr.  Harris  that  Nancy  Hanks  had 
gone  to  an  uncle  in  Kentucky  when  her  condition  became 
known  at  the  Enloe  farm;  for  it  seems  that  a  Richard  Berry 
has  been  located  as  buying  land  in  Anderson  county  in  1803, 
and  as  disappearing  entirely  from  the  records  of  Anderson 
county  thereafter. 

Mr.  Knotts  introduced  much  other  evidence,  and  has  accu- 
mulated much  additional  testimony  since,  which  he  will 
soon  publish  in  full,  giving  book  and  page  of  all  records  and 
full  extracts  from  all  documents. 

Minor  Matters.  Mr.  Knotts  also  states  that  Dr.  W.  C. 
Brown  was  a  brother  of  "Joe"  Brown,  the  "War  Governor" 
of  Georgia;  that  Mr.  Herndon's  first  life  of  Lincoln  contained 
several  statements  which  Lincoln  had  made  as  to  his  illegiti- 
macy; but  that  friends  of  Lincoln  "had  tried  to  recall 
the  volumes  and  failed  to  get  a  few  of  them  in  for  destruction"; 
but  that  Mr.  Knotts  had  secured  a  copy,  from  which  he  made 
(pp.  5  and  6)  the  following  statement:  "Mr.  Herndon,  says  Mr. 
Weik,  his  co-laborer  in  the  work,  spent  a  large  amount  of  time 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  321 

and  trouble  hunting  down  this  tradition  in  Kentucky,  and  finally 
found  a  family  in  Bourbon  county  named  Inlow,  who  stated 
to  him  that  an  older  relative,  Abraham  Inlow,  a  man  of 
wealth  and  influence,  induced  Thomas  Lincoln  to  assume  the 
paternity  of  Abraham  Lincoln,  whose  mother  was  a  nice 
looking  woman  of  good  family  named  Nancy  Hanks,  and  that 
after  marriage  he  removed  to  Hardin  or  Washington  county, 
where  this  infant  was  born. "  Mr.  Knotts  also  makes  the  point 
that  there  could  have  been  no  contemporaneous  record  of 
Lincoln's  birth,  and  that  he  made  the  date  himself  in  the 
family  Bible,  years  after  he  became  a  man;  that  in  that  record 
he  nowhere  records  the  fact  or  the  date  of  his  father's  marriage 
to  Nancy  Hanks,  although  he  is  careful  to  record  his  father's 
second  marriage  to  Sarah  Bush  Johnston,  and  his  own  mar- 
riage to  Mary  Todd;  also  that  he  speaks  of  his  sister  Sarah, 
when  she  married  Aaron  Grigsby,  as  the  daughter  of  Thomas 
Lincoln  alone;  and  when  she  died,  he  again  speaks  of  her  as 
the  daughter  of  Thomas  Lincoln  and  wife  of  Aaron  Grigsby, 
but  never  mentions  her  as  the  daughter  of  Nancy  Lincoln. 
No  one  has  ever  accounted  for  the  mutilation  of  the  family 
record  made  by  Abraham  Lincoln  himself  in  the  family  Bible. 
In  every  instance  in  which  discredit  might  fall  on  Nancy 
Hanks,  the  dates  have  been  carefully  obliterated  in  some 
vital  point.  Surely  Lincoln's  political  enemies  did  not  do 
this  thing,  the  doing  of  which  has  cast  more  suspicion  on  his 
legitimacy  than  all  things  else  combined. 

The  Rutherford  County  Hankses.  When  this  last 
tradition  was  called  to  the  writer's  attention,  it  was 
apparent  that  the  only  way  to  discredit  it  was  to  follow 
the  clue  which  stated  that  the  Nancy  Hanks  of  Abraham  En- 
loe's  household  had  gone  there  from  Rutherford  county. 
Accordingly,  diligent  enquiries  were  instituted  in  the  counties 
of  R,utherford,  Lincoln  and  Gaston  with  the  result  that  no 
trace  could  be  found  of  Nancy  Hanks  in  either  of  them,  or 
elsewhere  in  the  State.  All  persons  who  seemed  to  know 
anything  of  the  Hanks  family  referred  to  Mr.  L.  M.  Hoffman 
of  Dallas,  N.  C.,  who  wrote,  June  2,  1913,  to  the  effect  that 
for  several  years  he  had  been  working  on  a  genealogical  history 
of  all  the  families  who  first  settled  that  section  from  whom 
he  is  descended.  Among  these  were  a  Hanks  family;  and 
while  he  obtained  600  manuscript  pages  concerning  all  the 

W.  N.  C— 21 


322        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

other  families  from  which  he  has  descended  "the  want  of  time 
and   the   difficulty  of   getting   reliable   information     . 
has  caused  me  (him)  to  nearly  close  my  (his)  search.     .      .      .  ' 
Further   correspondence   resulted   in   discovering   little   more 
than  that  there  once  existed  a  Bible  of  the  Hanks  family  in 
the  possession  of  the  Jenkins  family;  but  Mr.  Hoffman,  who 
examined  and  made  extracts  from  it,  found  nothing  of  record 
regarding  Nancy  Hanks.     He  then  gave  several  discoveries 
that  he  made,  and  adds:     "This  only  illustrates  how  I  failed 
to  get  anything  like  a  connected  story  of  the  Hanks  family. 
There  are  several  of  the  Hanks  family  here  still,  but  they 
know  almost  nothing  of  their  ancestors.     .      .      .  '      When  it 
is  remembered  that  there  are  several  Hanks  men  in  Anderson 
county,  S.  C,  who  are  said  to  resemble  Abraham  Lincoln  in 
a  most  striking  way,  it  is  evident  that  the  probabilities  are 
largely  that  Nancy  Hanks  went  to  Abraham  Enloe's  from 
South  Carolina  rather  than  from  Rutherford  county,  N.  C. 
The  Tennessee  Tradition.     On  the  farm  of  G.  W.  Wag- 
ner,  formerly   owned   by   Isaac   Lincoln — a   few   miles   from 
Elizabethton  and  opposite  the  little  station  called  Hunter — 
is  a  tombstone  on  which  is  carved:     "Sacred  to  the  memory 
of    Isaac    Lincoln,    who    departed    this    life    June   10,   1816, 
aged  about  64  years."  1 9     In  McClure's  Early  Life  of  Lincoln, 
Isaac  Lincoln  is  mentioned  as  one  of  the  brothers  of  Abraham 
Lincoln,  the  grandfather  of  the  President  (p.  223).     Tradition 
says    that    to    this    farm    came    Thomas    Lincoln    after    the 
death  of  his  father   in    1788   had,  according  to  Miss  Tarbell 
(p.    6),    turned     him     "  adrift     to     become     a    wandering 
laboring   boy   before   he   had   learned   to    read."      Tradition 
also  says  that  a  Nancy  Hanks  at  one  time  lived  in  that  neigh- 
borhood; but  that   Thomas  was  so  shiftless  that  his  Uncle 
Isaac  drove  him  away,  when  Nancy  disappeared  also.     The 
lady  referred  to  on  page  73  of  J.  H.  Cathey's  book  by  Col. 
Davidson  was  his  sister,  Miss  Elvira  Davidson,  who  was  a  vis- 
itor in  the  home  of  Felix  Walker,  one  of  whose  sons  she  after- 
wards married;  and  it  was  while  there,  according  to  her  state- 
ment to  her  niece,  that  she  had  seen  Abraham  Enloe  call  Felix 
Walker  to  the  gate  and  talk  earnestly  with  him,  and  that 
when  Walker  came  back  he  told  Mrs.  Walker  Abraham  Enloe 
had  arranged  with  him  (Walker)  to  have  Nancy  Hanks  taken 
to  Tennessee,  instead  of  Kentucky,  when  Mrs.  Walker  re- 


EXTRAORDINARY   EVENTS  323 

marked  that  Mrs.  Enloe  would  "be  happy  again."  Mrs. 
Enloe  and  Mrs.  Walker  were  great  friends.  Elvira  David- 
son was  a  young  girl  at  this  time.  She  first  married  Joseph 
Walker  and  years  afterwards  was  left  a  widow.  Her  second 
husband  was  Thomas  Gaston,  whose  descendants  are  in  Bun- 
combe today. 

The   South    Carolina    Record.     This    record   is    in   the 
office  of  the  Ordinary,  corresponding  to  that  of  probate  judge 
in  most  States,  its  number  is  964,  and  is  entitled:  "  Valentine 
Davis   and  wife,   applicant,  v.  Luke  Hanie  and  others."     The 
summons  in  relief  was  filed  before  William  McGee,  Ordinary 
of  Anderson  District,  S.  C,  December  26,  1842;  it  relates  to 
the  real  estate  of  Ann  Hanks,  and  is  recorded  in  real  estate 
book,  volume  1,  p.  59.     The  summons  is  to  the  "legal  heirs 
and  representatives  of  Ann  Hanks,  who  died  intestate,"  and 
requires  the  parties  named  therein — among  whom  is  Nancy 
Hanks — to  appear  on  the  3d  day  of  April,  1843,  and  "show 
cause  why  the  real  estate  of  Ann  Hanks,  deceased,  situated 
in  said  district  on  waters  of  Rocky  river,  bounding  Brig.  R. 
Haney,  John  Martin  and  others,  should  not  be  divided  or  sold, 
allotting  the  same  as  it  proceeds  among  you."     Valentine 
Davis  was  appointed  and  consented  to  act  as  the  guardian 
ad  litem  of  the  minor  heirs  named  in  the  summons;  a  large 
number  of  heirs  accepted  legal  service  of  the  summons;  while 
the  Ordinary  notes  that  he  "cited"   several  others  to  appear 
in  court,  etc.     A  rule  was  also   issued  December  26,   1842, 
to  twenty-seven  of  the  defendants  "who  reside  without  the 
State,"  among  whom  is  the  name  of  Nancy  Hanks,  all  of 
whom  are  required  to  "appear  and  object  to  the  sale  or  division 
of  the  real  estate  of  Hanks  on  or  before  the  third  day  of  April 
next,  or  their  consent  to  the  same  will  be  entered  of  record." 
There  is  also  in  this  record  an  assignment  to  Mary  Hanks  by 
her  son  James  R.  Hanks,  of  Crittenden  county,  Kentucky,  of 
his  interest  "in  the  real  estate  of  my  grandmother  Ann  Hanks, 
which  came  to  me  by  right  of  my  father,  George  Hanks,  which 
was  sold  by  the  Court  of   Ordinary  in  Anderson  District, 
South  Carolina,  in  June,  1843,  which  claim  or  claims  I  re- 
nounce to  my  said  mother  Mary  during  her  natural  life,  from 
me,  my  executors  or  assigns,  so  long  as  the  said  Mary  Hanks 
shall  live,  but  at  the  said  Mary's  death  to  revert  back  me  to 
and  my  heirs,"  etc. 


324        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

This  assignment  of  interest  is  dated  April  1,  1844,  and 
was  probated  before  James  Cruce,  justice  of  the  peace  of 
Crittenden  county,  Ky.,  by  William  Stinson  and  Reuben 
Bennett,  subscribing  witnesses,  on  the  first  of  April,  1844. 

The  record  fails  to  show  any  receipt  from  Nancy  Hanks  for 
her  share  in  the  proceeds  of  this  real  estate,  which  would 
seem  to  indicate  that  she  was  dead  and  that  her  heirs  received 
no  actual  notice  of  this  proceeding.  The  foregoing  excerpts 
have  been  furnished  by  Thomas  Allen,  Esq.,  of  the  Anderson, 
S.  C,  bar. 

Reality  of  Isaac  Lincoln's  Residence.  Of  the  resi- 
dence of  Isaac  Lincoln  and  Mary  (nee  Ward)  his  wife,  in 
what  is  now  Carter  county,  Tenn.,  there  can  be  no  doubt, 
the  deed  books  of  that  county  showing  many  conveyances 
to  and  from  Isaac  Lincoln,  one  of  which  (B,  p.  14)  is  indexed 
as  from  Isaac  "Linkhorn"  to  John  Carter,  which  bears  the 
early  date  of  March  4,  1777,  and  conveys  303  acres  on  the 
north  side  of  Doe  river  known  by  the  name  of  the  "Flag- 
Pond,"  for  one  hundred  pounds.  The  deed,  however,  is 
signed  "Isaac  Lincoln,"  not  "Linkhorn";  but  it  was  not  regis- 
tered till  July  22,  1806.  Lincoln  and  Carter  are  both 
described  as  of  "Watauga"  simply.  Other  conveyances 
show  that  he  owned  several  lots  in  what  is  now  Eliza- 
bethton,  the  county  seat  of  Carter  county  (B,  18).  There 
is  also  a  conveyance  from  Johnson  Hampton,  with  whom 
Thomas  Lincoln  and  Nancy  Hanks  are  said  (according  to  a 
letter  from  D.  J.  Knotts  to  J.  D.  Jenkins,  1913)  to  have 
gone  from  Abraham  Enloe's  to  Thomas  Lincoln's  brother's 
home  on  Lynn  mountain,  five  miles  above  Elizabethton,  on 
Watauga  river.  But  this  conveyance  is  dated  March  13, 
1834,  and  is  to  Mordeca  (sic)  Lincoln  and  John  Berry  of 
the  "county  of  Green  and  Carter,"  Tenn.  (Book  D,  p.  373). 
The  site  of  the  cabin  in  which  Isaac  and  Mary  lived  is  still 
pointed  out  at  the  base  of  Lynn  mountain. 

Isaac  and  Mary  Lincoln  Slaveowners.  The  will  of 
Isaac  Lincoln,  dated  April  22,  1816,  is  filed  in  the  office  of 
the  clerk  of  the  circuit  court  of  Carter  county,  Tenn.,  and, 
though  yellow  with  age,  is  in  a  good  state  of  preservation. 
By  it  he  leaves  all  his  property  to  his  wife  Mary;  and  when 
her  will  (filed  in  the  same  office)  is  examined,  it  is  found  to 
bequeath  at  least  28  negroes,  naming  each  one  separately, 


EXTRAORDINARY  EVENTS  325 

and  providing  for  the  support  of  two  of  them  during  life. 
William  Stover,  who  got  the  bulk  of  her  estate,  was  the  son 
of  her  sister  and  Daniel  Stover;  and  Phoebe  Crow,  wife  of 
Campbell  Crow,  to  whom  she  left  the  "negro  girl  Margaret 
and  her  four  children,  to  wit:  Lucy,  Mima,  Martin  and 
Mahala,  was  Phoebe  Williams,  a  niece  of  Mary  Lincoln. 
Campbell  Crow  was  left  "the  lower  plantation,  it  being  the 
one  on  which  he  now  lives,  adjoining  the  land  of  Alfred  M. 
Carter  on  the  west  and  south  and  of  John  Carriger  on  the 
east."  To  Christian  Carriger,  Sr.,  she  bequeathed  seven 
negroes;  to  Mary  Lincoln  Carriger,  wife  of  Christian  Carriger 
Sr.,  she  left  two  negro  girls.  Christian  Carriger,  Sr.,  had 
married  a  sister  of  Mary  Lincoln.  Daniel  Stover — J.  D. 
Jenkins'  great-grandfather— married  another  sister  of  Mary 
Lincoln.  Daniel  Stover's  son  William  had  a  son  Daniel, 
who  married  Mary,  a  daughter  of  Andrew  Johnson,  the  suc- 
cessor of  Abraham  Lincoln  in  the  Presidency,  and  he  (John- 
son) died  in  her  house,  a  few  miles  above  Elizabethton,  July 
31,  1875.  P.  T.  Brummit  lives  there  now.  It  was  not  a  part 
of  the  Lincoln  farm.  The  house  is  still  visible  from  the  rail- 
road, the  log  portion  thereof  having  been  torn  away;  but  the 
room  in  which  Andrew  Johnson  died,  in  the  second  story 
of  the  framed  addition  to  the  original  house,  still  stands. 
W.  Butler  Stover,  great-grandnephew  of  Mary  Lincoln,  of 
Jonesboro  (R.  F.  D.),  Tenn.,  still  has  Mary  Lincoln's  Bible; 
but  he  wrote  (March  6,  1914)  that  "it  gives  no  dates  of 
births  or  deaths  or  marriages  of  any  of  the  Lincolns." 
William  Stover  was  Butler  Stover's  grandfather  and  inherited 
the  farm  on  which  Mary  and  Isaac  Lincoln  are  buried,  as 
their  tombstones  attest,  Mary's  stating  that  she  died  August 
27,  1834,  "aged  about  76  years."  It  is  said  that  Isaac  and 
Mary  Lincoln  had  but  one  child,  a  boy,  who  was  drowned 
before  reaching  manhood.  Mrs.  H.  M.  Folsom  of  Elizabeth- 
ton  is  related  to  Mordecai  Lincoln,  while  Mrs.  W.  M.  Vought 
of  the  same  place  was  a  Carriger.  Dr.  Natt  Hyder,  who 
died  twenty-odd  years  ago,  and  whose  widow  still  lives 
at  Gap  Creek,  in  the  Sixth  District,  told  James  D.  Jenkins 
that  old  people  had  told  him— "Old  Man"  Lewis  particu- 
larly— that  Abraham  Lincoln  was  born  on  the  side  of  Lynn 
mountain,  and  was  taken  in  his  mother's  arms  to  Kentucky, 
going  by  way  of  Stony  Fork  creek  and  Bristol.      An  anony- 


326        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

mous  writer — supposed  to  be  B.  Clay  Middleton— in  an 
article  which  was  published  in  the  Carter  County  News, 
February  13,  1914,  says:  "Tradition  says  that  it  was  here,  in 
the  beautiful  Watauga  Valley,  so  rich  in  history,  that  the 
young  Thomas  Lincoln  first  met  and  wooed  the  gentle  Nancy 
Hanks,  whose  name  was  destined  to  become  immortal  through 
the  achievements  of  her  illustrious  son.  Tradition  further 
says  that  for  a  while  before  Thomas  Lincoln  and  Nancy 
Hanks  left  for  Kentucky  they  lived  for  a  time  together  as 
common  law  husband  and  wife  in  a  little  cabin  on  Lynn 
mountain,  which  overlooks  the  Watauga  valley.  I  have  been 
informed  that  old  people  in  that  vicinity  still  recall  the  site 
of  what  was  known  as  the  Tom  Lincoln  cabin,  and  traces  of 
the  spot  where  the  cabin  stood  still  remain  in  the  way  of 
stone  foundations,  etc."  He  also  cites  as  "a  little  singular 
that  the  life  of  Andrew  Johnson  in  a  way  should  be  inter- 
woven with  the  name  of  Lincoln,  whom  he  succeeded  as 
President  of  the  United  States.  When  he  married  Miss  Eliza 
McCardle,  at  Greenville,  Tenn.,  it  was  'Squire  Mordecai 
Lincoln  who  performed  the  ceremony.  His  daughter  Mary 
married  Col.  Dan  Stover,  the  great  nephew  of  Isaac  Lincoln.'  : 

NOTES. 

Statements  made  to  J.  P.  A.  in  1912. 

=Letter  from  S.  J.  Silver  to  J.  P.  A.,  dated  November  IS,  1912. 

3Zebulon  settled  near  French  Broad  River  in  Buncombe  county,  2^2  miles  below  Ashe- 
ville,  where  the  National  Casket  Factory  is  now,  and  died  there  years  ago. 

<Bedent  settled  on  Beaver  Dam,  two  miles  north  of  Asheville,  at  what  is  now  the  Way 
place,  where  he  died  in  1839.  Letter  of  Dr.  J.  S.  T.  Baird  to  J.  P.  A.,  December  16,  1912. 
Dr.  Baird  died  in  April,  1913. 

^Andrew,  a  brother  of  Zebulon  and  Bedent  Baird,  settled  in  Burke;  but  the  Valle  Crucis 
Baird  did  not  claim  descent  from  him  John  Burton  was  really  the  founder  of  Asheville, 
as  on  July  7,  1794,  he  obtained  a  grant  for  200  acres  covering  what  is  now  the  center  of  that 
city.  Condensed  from  Asheville's  Centenary.  He  afterwards  moved  to  Ashe  County  and 
in  April,  1799,  he  entered  200  acres  near  the  Virginia  line.     Deed  Book  A.,  p.  339. 

^Condensed  and  quoted  from  T.  L.  Clingman's"  Speeches  and  Writings, "  pp.  138,  etseq. 

'University  Magazine  of  18SS-89. 

sZeigler  &  Grosscup,  p.  245. 

9Letter  of  C.  C.  Duckworth  to  J.  P.  A.,  May  1,  1912. 

i  "Letter  from  C.  C.  Duckworth  to  J.  P.  A.,  May  1,  1912;  letter  from  D.  K.  Collins,  June 
7,  1912;  statement  of  Hon.  J.  C.  Pritchard,  June,  1912.  In  "The  Child  That  Toileth  Not" 
(p.  448)  Pickens  county,  S.  C.,  is  given  as  the  one  in  which  Redmond  held  forth  twenty  years 
ago,  etc. 

"State  v.  Hal!,  114  N.  C,  p.  909. 

"State  v.  Hall,  115  N.  C,  p.  811. 

"For  Hon.  Z.  B.  Vance's  account  of  the- finding  of  Prof.  Mitchell's  body,  see  ' '  Balsam 
Groves  of  the  Grandfather  Mountain, "  by  S.  M.  Dugger  (p.  261).  In  this  appears  a  list  of 
those  who  assisted  in  the  search.  From  this  account  it  seems  that  what  is  now  known  as 
Mitchell's  Peak  was  put  down  in  Cook's  Map  as  Mt.  Clingman.  and  that  Prof.  Mitchell 
insisted  that  he  had  measured  it  in  1844,  while  Gen.  Clingman  claimed  to  have  been  the 
first  to  measure  it. 

>*"Truth  Is  Stranger  Than  Fiction,"  pp.  130-137-139. 

"Ibid.,  p.  86. 

"Ibid.,  p.  74.  .  . 

"According  to  Herndon,  Thomas  set  up  house-keeping  in  Indiana  with  the  tools  and 
liquor  he  had  recovered  from  his  capsized  river  boat,  p.  17. 

17From  Louisville  Courier  Journal,  of  Thursday,  Xovmber  9,  1911. 

18"The  Story  of  Abraham  Lincoln's  Mother,"  by  Carolina  Hanks  Hitchcock,  1S89. 

1 'Tradition  as  related  by  James  D.  Jenkins,  Esq.,  recorder  of  Elizabethton,  Tenn., 
who  also  stated  that  Isaac  Lincoln's  wife  was  Sarah  Stover,  of  Pennsylvania.  Also  that 
President  Andrew  Johnson  had  died  on  the  Isaac  Lincoln  farm. 


CHAPTER   XII 

HUMOROUS  AND  ROMANTIC 

A  Faithful  Picture  of  the  Past.  "Somewhere  about 
1830,"  writes  Judge  A.  C.  Avery,  "my  father  had  a  summer 
house  constructed  of  hewn  logs,  containing  four  rooms  and  a 
hall,  with  outhouses,  at  the  place  now  called  Plumtree.  It 
remained  till  about  1909,  when  it  was  destroyed  by  fire.  This 
was  a  mile  below  the  'Quarter,'  where  the  overseer  kept 
house  and  my  father's  sons,  who  successively  managed  the 
stock,  stayed.  There  were  a  number  of  negro  cabins  around 
the  Craborchard  proper,  which  was  located  about  half  a 
mile  from  where  Waightstill  W.  Avery  now  lives.  My  father  had 
large  meadows  there,  on  which  he  raised  a  quantity  of  hay  and 
wintered  hundreds  of  heads  of  cattle  that  ranged  on  the  moun- 
tains in  summer.  These  mountains  were  the  Roan  and  the 
Yellow,  on  whose  bald  summits  grass  grew  luxuriantly. 

Haymaking  in  the  Summertime.  "  During  August  of  every 
year,  after  laying  by  his  crop  in  Burke  county,  my  father  took 
a  number  of  negroes  and  several  wagons  and  teams  over  to 
the  Craborchard,  and  moved  his  family  for  a  stay  of  two 
months  or  more  to  his  summer  house  at  Plumtree.  He  hired 
white  men  from  all  over  Yancey  county  to  help  his  negroes 
in  saving  the  hay. 

Open  House  and  Grand  Frolic.  "He  kept  open  house  at 
the  summer  place  and  large  parties  of  ladies  and  gentlemen 
went  out  there  from  time  to  time  and  had  a  grand  frolic. 
Many  of  the  young  people  rode  out  on  horseback,  and  some 
of  the  ladies  in  carriages.  Parties  were  continually  riding  out 
to  the  Roan,  the  Yellow  and  to  Linville  Falls.  The  woods 
were  full  of  deer,  and  all  the  streams  were  full  of  speckled 
trout  that  could  be  caught  with  redworm  bait.  So,  the  ladies 
and  gentlemen  fished  in  Toe  river  and  its  tributaries  while 
others  of  the  gentlemen  hunted  deer,  often  killing  them  near 
enough  to  the  summer  house  for  the  shot  to  be  heard." 

Where  the  Boys  Were  "Hanged."  "The  late  James 
Gudger,  who  was  brought  in  his  early  infancy  to  his  father's 
residence  on  Swannanoa,  just  settled,  and  who,  in  1830,  and 

(327) 


328        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

1836,  represented  Buncombe  county  in  the  North  Carolina 
Senate,  told  his  grandson,  Capt.  J.  M.  Gudger,  that  when  he 
was  a  very  small  boy  it  was  the  custom  to  send  a  number  of 
boys  with  bags  of  grain  to  mill  to  be  ground,  and  leave  it 
there  until  a  month  later,  when  the  boys  would  return  with 
other  grain  and  carry  back  the  meal  ground  from  the  first. 
He  further  said  that  usually  a  man  accompanied  the  party 
to  put  on  the  sacks  when  they  should  fall  from  the  horses, 
but  that  on  one  occasion  as  he,  then  a  very  small  boy,  was 
returning  from  the  mill,  with  his  companions  of  about  the 
same  age,  the  man  for  some  reason  was  not  along,  and  one 
of  the  sacks  fell  off  on  the  Battery  Park  hill  over  which  they 
had  to  pass;  that  while  endeavoring  in  vain  to  replace  the 
sacks  a  party  of  Indians  came  upon  them,  and  from  pure  mis- 
chief threatened  and  actually  began  to  hang  them;  that  the 
boys  l  were  badly  frightened,  but  finally  the  Indians  left  them 
unharmed,  and  they  went  on  their  way,  and  that  the  hill  was 
afterwards  known  through  the  country  as  'the  hill  where  the 
boys  were  hung. ' 1 

Handlen  Mountain.  "He  still  further  said  that  the  mil- 
ler in  charge  of  the  mill,  whose  name  was  Handlen,  undertook 
to  cultivate  a  crop  on  the  mountain  on  the  western  side  of 
the  French  Broad,  but  as  he  did  not  return  to  the  settlement 
for  a  long  while  his  friends  became  frightened,  and  in  a  party 
went  to  the  clearing,  where  they  found  him  killed  and  scalped, 
and  his  crop  destroyed,  and  that  from  this  incident  that  moun- 
tain took  its  name  of  the  Handlen  mountain. 1 

"Talking  for  Buncombe."  "Famous  as  Buncombe  de- 
servedly is,  she  has  acquired  some  notoriety  that  no  place 
less  merits.  Her  name  has  become  synonymous  with  empty 
talk,  a  lucus  a  non  lucendo.  In  the  sixteenth  Congress  of  the 
United  States  the  district  of  North  Carolina  which  embraced 
Buncombe  county  was  represented  in  the  lower  house  by 
Felix  Walker.  The  Missouri  question  was  under  discussion 
and  the  house,  tired  of  speeches,  wanted  to  come  to  a  vote. 
At  this  time  Mr.  Walker  secured  the  floor  and  was  proceed- 
ing with  his  address,  at  best  not  very  forceful  or  entertain- 
ing, when  some  impatient  member  whispered  to  him  to  sit 
down  and  let  the  vote  be  taken.  This  he  refused  to  do, 
saying  that  he  must  'make  a  speech  for  Buncombe,'  that  is, 
for  his  constituents;  or,  as  others  say,  certain  members  rose 


HUMOROUS  AND  ROMANTIC  329 

and  left  the  hall  while  he  was  speaking  and,  when  he  saw 
them  going,  he  turned  to  those  who  remained  and  told  them 
that  they  might  go,  too,  if  they  wished,  as  he  was  'only 
speaking  for  Buncombe.'  The  phrase  was  at  once  caught 
up  and  the  vocabulary  of  the  English  language  was  enriched 
by  the  addition  of  a  new  term."2 

Isolation  of  Mountain  Neighborhoods.  So  sequestered 
were  many  of  these  mountain  coves  which  lay  off  the  main 
lines  of  travel,  that  persons  living  within  only  short  distances 
of  each  other  were  as  though  "oceans  rolled  between";  as 
the  following  incident  abundantly  proves  : 

Mont.  Ray's  Flight,  Return  and  Trial.3  Soon  after 
the  Civil  War  Mont.  Ray  killed  Jack  Brown  of  Ivy,  between 
Ivy  and  Burnsville,  and  went  to  Buck's  tanyard,  just  west  of 
Carver's  gap  under  the  Roan  mountain,  where  he  supported 
himself  making  and  mending  shoes  till  many  of  the  most 
important  witnesses  against  him  had  gotten  beyond  the  juris- 
diction of  the  court — by  death  or  removal — when  he  returned 
and  stood  his  trial  in  Burnsville  and  was  acquitted.  He  had 
never  been  forty  miles  away,  had  remained  there  twelve  years ; 
yet  no  one  ever  suspected  that  he  was  a  fugitive  from  justice. 

A  Forgotten  Battle-Field.  The  Star,  a  newspaper  pub- 
lished in  Sparta,  Alleghany  county,  in  its  issue  of  February 
29,  1912,  contained  the  following  :  "A  few  years  ago,  along 
New  river,  near  the  northern  border  of  this  county,  was  found 
what  is  believed  to  be  indications  of  a  battle  of  which  no  one 
now  living  has  any  knowledge,  nor  is  there  any  tradition 
among  our  people  concerning  it.  On  the  land  of  Squire  John 
Gambill,  near  the  bank  of  New  river,  after  a  severe  rain- 
storm and  wash-out,  some  white  objects  were  noticed  lying 
on  the  ground.  On  examination  these  were  found  to  be  human 
skulls  and  other  parts  of  human  skeletons.  Further  exami- 
nation revealed  other  marks  of  battle,  such  as  leaden  balls 
buried  in  old  trees  lying  on  the  ground,  etc.  Squire  Gambill's 
ancestors  have  resided  in  this  section  for  one  and  a  half  cen- 
turies; yet,  they  have  never  heard  of  the  occurrence,  nor  had 
they  any  tradition  of  it.  Who  fought  this  battle?  Why  was 
it  fought?  Was  there  a  fort  here?  Was  it  fought  between 
the  whites  and  Indians?"      (See  ante,  p.  108.) 

Andrew  Jackson  Loses  a  Horse  Race.  4  In  the  late 
summer  or  early,  fall  of  1788,  Andrew  Jackson  and  Robert 


330        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

Love  had  a  horse  race  in  the  Greasy  Cove,  just  above  what  it 
now  Ervin,  Tenn.  It  seems  that  Jackson's  jockey  could  not 
ride  and  "Old  Hickory"  was  forced  to  ride  his  horse  him- 
self, while  Love's  jockey  was  on  hand  and  rode  Love's  horse, 
winning  the  race.  When  the  result  was  known  "just  for  a 
moment  there  was  a  deep,  ominous  hush;  then  a  pande- 
monium of  noise  and  tumult  that  might  have  been  heard 
in  the  two  neighboring  counties.  Jackson  was  the  chief 
actor  in  this  riot  of  passion  and  frenzy.  His  brow  was  cor- 
rugated with  wrath.  His  tall,  sinewy  form  shook  like  an 
aspen  leaf.  His  face  was  the  livid  color  of  the  storm  cloud — 
when  it  is  hurling  its  bolts  of  thunder.  His  Irish  blood  was 
up  to  the  boiling  point,  and  his  eyes  flashed  with  the  fire  of 
war.  He  was  an  overflowing  Vesuvius  of  rage,  pouring  the 
hot  lava  of  denunciation  on  the  Love  family  in  general  and 
his  victorious  rival  in  particular.  Col.  Love  stood  before  this 
storm  unblanched  and  unappalled — for  he,  too,  had  plenty  of 
'sand,'  and  as  lightly  esteemed  the  value  of  life — and  an- 
swered burning  invective  with  burning  invective  hissing  with 
the  same  degree  of  heat  and  exasperation.  Jackson  denounced 
the  Loves  as  a  'band  of  land  pirates'  because  they  held  the 
ownership  of  nearly  all  the  choice  lands  in  that  section.  Love 
retorted  by  calling  Jackson  'a  damned,  long,  gangling,  sor- 
rel-topped soap  stick.'  The  exasperating  offensiveness  of 
this  retort  may  be  better  understood  when  it  is  explained 
that  in  those  days  women  'conjured'  their  soap  by  stirring 
it  with  a  long  sassafras  stick.  The  dangerous  character  of 
both  men  was  well  known,  and  it  was  ended  by  the  interfer- 
ence of  mutual  friends,  who  led  the  enraged  rivals  from  the 
grounds  in  different  directions."  4 

Two  Old-Time  Gentlemen.  Major  O.  F.  Neal  was  a  law- 
yer and  farmer  who  lived  in  Jefferson,  and  who  died  in  1894. 
He  and  his  brother  Ben  were  punctilious  on  all  matters  of 
politeness.  On  one  occasion,  after  a  long  walk,  they  reached 
a  spring.  Ben  insisted  that,  as  the  Major  was  a  lawyer  and 
lived  in  town,  he  should  drink  first;  but  the  Major  claimed 
that  as  Ben  was  the  elder  he  must  drink  first.  As  neither 
would  yield  to  the  other,  they  politely  and  good-naturedly 
refused  to  drink  at  all,  and  returned  home  more  thirsty  than 
ever. 


HUMOROUS  AND  ROMANTIC  331 

The  First  Department  Store.  Two  miles  from  Old 
Field,  Ashe  county,  was  kept  from  about  1870  to  about  1890 
the  first  department  store  known.  It  was  kept  by  that  en- 
terprising merchant  Arthur  D.  Cole,  and  the  large,  but  now 
empty,  buildings  still  standing  there  show  the  extent  of  his 
business.  He  kept  as  many  as  twelve  clerks  employed,  and 
boasted  that  there  were  but  two  things  he  did  not  carry  con- 
stantly in  stock,  one  being  the  grace  of  God  and  the  other 
blue  wool.  A  friend  thought  he  had  him  "stumped"  one 
day  when  he  called  for  goose  yokes ;  but  Cole  quietly  took  him 
up  stairs  and  showed  him  a  gross  which  he  had  had  on  hand 
for  years.  He  and  his  father  did  more  to  develop  the  root 
and  herb  business  in  North  Carolina  than  anyone  else.  He 
failed  in  business,  after  nearly  twenty  years  of  success. 

A  Mysterious  Disappearance.  Zachariah  Sawyer,  grand- 
father of  George  Washington  Sawyer,  now  register  of  deeds  of 
Ashe  county,  came  to  Ashe  from  east  of  the  Blue  Ridge 
eighty-odd  years  ago.  He  learned  that  he  was  entitled  to  a 
share  in  a  large  estate  in  England  and  went  there  to  collect 
his  interest.  After  he  had  been  in  that  country  a  short  time 
he  wrote  home  that  he  had  succeeded  in  collecting  his  share 
and  would  soon  start  home.  He  was  never  afterwards  heard  of. 

Welburn  Waters,  Hermit  Hunter  of  White  Top.  In 
a  well  written  book,  Mr.  J.  A.  Testerman  of  Jefferson  has 
drawn  a  striking  portrait  of  this  old-time  hunter  and  back- 
woodsman. The  last  edition  is  dated  1911.  From  it  one 
gathers  that  Waters  was  born  on  Reddy's  river  in  Wilkes 
county,  November  20,  1812,  the  son  of  John  P.  Waters,  a  French 
Huguenot,  and  a  half-breed  Catawba  woman.  His  conversion 
and  his  distraction  at  a  conference  held  at  Abingdon,  Va.,  in 
1859  because  he  was  afraid  some  harm  would  come  to  a  new 
hat  he  had  carried  to  church  are  amusingly  told,  while  his 
encounters  with  wild  beasts  and  his  solitary  life  on  White 
Top  are  graphically  portrayed. 

Lochinvar  Redux.  "About  the  year  1816,  John  Hols- 
claw,  a  young  and  adventurous  hunter,  and  a  regular  Loch- 
invar, as  the  sequel  will  show,  built  a  bark  'shanty'  on  the 
waters  of  Elk  at  the  'Big  Bottoms,'  where  he  lived  for  many 
years.  The  romance  of  his  life  was  that  he  went  over  to  Valle 
Crucis,  a  settlement  only  eight  miles  distant,  and  there  by 
sheer  force  of  will,  or  love,  I  will  not  say  which,  carried  away, 


332        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

captive,  a  young  daughter  of  Col.  Bedent  Baird,  and  took  her 
over  the  mountains  by  a  route  so  circuitous  that,  from  what 
her  conductor  told  her,  she  verily  believed  she  was  in  Ken- 
tucky. She  was  kept  in  ignorance  of  where  she  actually  did 
live  for  many  years,  and  only  by  accident  found  out  better. 
One  day  she  heard  a  bell  whose  tinkle  seemed  strangely  famil- 
iar. She  went  to  the  steer  on  which  it  was  hung  and  found 
that  it  belonged  to  her  father.  This  clue  led  to  the  discovery 
that,  instead  of  being  in  Kentucky  she  was  not  eight  miles  as 
the  crow  flies  from  her  old  home  at  Valle  Crucis.  Of  course, 
she  thanked  her  husband  for  the  deception,  as  all  women  do, 
and  they  lived  happy  ever  afterwards. 

"For  many  years  after  John  Holsclaw  settled  on  the  'Big- 
Bottoms  of  Elk'  with  his  youthful  bride,  they  lived  solitary 
and  alone;  and  in  after  years  she  was  wont  to  tell  how  she 
had  frightened  away  the  wolves  which  prowled  around  when 
her  husband  was  away,  by  thrusting  firebrands  at  them,  when 
they  would  scamper  off  a  distance  and  make  night  hideous 
with  their  howls.  And  how,  in  after  years,  when  they  built 
a  rude  log  house  with  only  one  small  window  to  admit  the 
light,  and  had  moved  into  it,  Mr.  Holsclaw  killed  a  deer  and 
dressed  it,  and  had  gone  away,  a  panther,  smelling  the  fresh 
venison,  came  to  the  house  and  tried  to  get  in,  screaming 
with  all  the  ferocity  of  a  beast  brought  almost  to  the  point 
of  starvation.  There  was  no  one  in  the  house  but  the  woman 
and  one  child,  but  she  bravely  held  her  own  till  her  husband 
returned,  when  the  fierce  beast  was  frightened  away.  She 
lived  to  a  great  age,  and  only  a  few  years  ago  died,5  and  lies 
buried  on  a  beautiful  hillock  hard  by  the  place  of  her  nativ- 
ity, on  the  land  now  owned  by  one  of  her  nephews,  Mr.  W. 
B.  Baird,  one  time  sheriff  of  Watauga." 

Who  was  Seller  and  Who  was  Sold?  Col.  Carson  Vance 
lived  on  Rose's  creek,  between  Alta  Pass  and  Spruce  Pine 
before  and  during  and  after  the  Civil  War.  He  was  a  bright, 
but  eccentric  man.  He  was  admitted  to  the  bar  and  prac- 
ticed law  to  some  extent.  But  he  and  a  free  negro  named 
John  Jackson  made  up  a  plot  at  the  commencement  of  the 
Civil  War  whereby  they  were  to  go  together  to  New  Orleans, 
Vance  as  master  and  Jackson  as  slave.  At  New  Orleans 
Jackson  was  to  be  sold  for  all  the  cash  he  would  bring,  after 
which  Vance  was  to  disappear.     Then  Jackson  was  to  prove 


HUMOROUS  AND  ROMANTIC  32. 

that  he  was  a  "free  person  of  color,"  regain  his  freedom  and 
rejoin  Vance  on  the  outskirts  of  New  Orleans.  It  is  said  that 
this  scheme  worked  successfully  and  that  Vance  and  Jackson 
divided  the  proceeds  of  the  sale. 

Love  Finds  a  Way.  On  the  21st  of  June,  1856,  W.  M. 
Blalock,  commonly  called  Keith  Blalock,  and  Malinda  Pritch- 
ard  were  married  in  Caldwell  county,  close  to  the  Grand- 
father mountain.  In  1862  the  conscript  law  of  the  Confed- 
eracy went  into  operation,  and  Keith,  though  a  Union  man, 
was  clearly  subject  to  conscription.  There  was  no  escape 
from  it  except  by  volunteering.  But  to  do  that  would  be 
to  part  with  his  wife.  So  they  resolved  to  enlist  together 
and  seek  their  first  opportunity  of  deserting  and  getting  over 
into  the  Federal  lines.  They  went  to  Kinston,  N.  C,  and 
joined  the  26th  N.  C.  regiment,  then  commanded  by  Col. 
Zebulon  B.  Vance,  soon  afterwards  to  become  governor.  This 
was  on  the  12th  of  April,  1862.  She  wore  a  regular  private's 
uniform  and  tented  and  messed  with  her  husband.  She  en- 
listed and  was  known  as  Sam  Blalock.  She  stood  guard, 
drilled  and  handled  her  musket  like  a  man,  and  no  one  ever 
suspected  her  sex.  But  they  were  too  far  from  the  Federal 
lines,  with  little  prospect  of  getting  nearer.  So  Keith  went 
into  a  swamp  and  rubbed  himself  all  over  with  poison  oak. 
They  sent  him  to  the  hospital  in  Kinston,  where  the  surgeons 
disagreed  as  to  his  ailment,  and  he  was  returned  to  his  own 
regiment,  where  his  surgeon  recommended  his  discharge.  It 
was  granted  and  he  left  the  camp.  Then  his  wife  presented 
herself  to  Col.  Vance  and  said  that  as  long  as  they  had  sent 
her  man  home  she  wanted  to  go,  too.  An  explanation  fol- 
lowed with  confirmation  "strong  as  proof  of  holy  writ."  She 
was  discharged.  Keith  joined  the  Union  army  and  drew 
a  pension.  Mrs.  Blalock  died  March  9,  1901.  He  was  called 
"Keith"  because  when  a  boy  he  was  a  great  fighter,  and  could 
"whip  his  weight  in  wild-cats,"  as  the  saying  went.  At  that 
time  there  was  a  fighter,  full  grown  and  of  great  renown,  who 
lived  at  Burnsville,  by  the  name  of  Alfred  Keith.  The 
boys  Blalock  played  with,  "double-teamed"  on  him  some- 
times, but  always  got  thrashed.  They  then  called  him  "Old 
Keith."     He  died  in  September,  1913,  at  Montezuma. 

The  Wild  Cat.  In  February,  1848,  when  she  was  sixteen 
years  old,  Mary  Garland,  afterwards  the  wife  of  Judge  Jacob 


3334        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

W.  Bowman,  killed  a  wild  cat  which  had  followed  some  ducks 
into  her  yard.  She  hemmed  it  in  a  fence  corner  and  beat  it 
to  death  with  a  "battling  stick" — a  stout,  paddle-like  stick 
used  to  beat  clothes  when  they  are  being  washed.  This  was 
on  Big  Rock  creek,  Mitchell  county.  Her  cousins,  Jane  and 
Nancy  Stanley,  while  tending  the  boiling  of  maple  sugar  sap 
in  a  camp  on  the  waters  of  Big  Rock  creek  in  the  spring  of 
1842,  when  sixteen  and  thirteen  years  old  respectively,  killed 
a  black  bear  which  had  been  attracted  by  the  smell  of  sugar, 
by  driving  it  into  a  small  tree  and  killing  it  with  an  ax. 

A  Moonshiner's  Heaven.  Forty  years  ago  Lost  Cove  was 
almost  inaccessible,  except  by  trails;  but  last  year  (1912)  a  wagon 
road  over  three  miles  long  was  constructed  to  it  over  the 
ridges  from  Poplar  Station  on  the  C.  C.  &  0.  Railroad.  Such  a 
secluded  place  was  a  great  temptation  to  moonshiners,  and 
when  to  its  inaccessibility  was  added  the  fact  that  it  was  in 
dispute  between  Tennessee  and  North  Carolina,  its  fascina- 
tions became  irresistible.  Accordingly  John  D.  Tipton  was 
accused  of  having  begun  business  by  the  light  of  the  moon, 
as  was  evidenced  by  sundry  indictments  in  the  United  States 
court  at  Asheville.  His  example  was  soon  followed  by  others; 
but,  whenever  it  appeared  to  Judge  R.  P.  Dick  that  the  al- 
ledged  stills  were  in  the  disputed  territory,  he  directed  the 
discharge  of  the  defendants.  However,  a  mighty  change  has 
taken  place  in  Lost  Cove  within  the  past  few  years,  and  not 
only  is  there  no  moonshining  there  now,  even  when  fair  Luna 
is  at  the  full,  but  the  good  people  will  not  suffer  the  "critter" 
to  be  brought  in  from  Tennessee.  And  better  still,  in  1910 
they  built  a  school  house  and  a  church,  and  voted  a  special 
school  tax,  the  first  school  having  been  taught  in  1911. 

Peggy's  Hole.  Three-quarters  of  a  mile  above  Elk  Cross 
Roads,  now  Todd,  is  a  high  bluff,  covered  with  laurel,  pines 
and  ivy.  It  is  at  a  bend  of  New  river.  About  1815  Mrs. 
Peggy  Clauson  was  going  to  church  on  a  bright  Sunday  morn- 
ing. Dogs  had  run  a  bear  off  the  bluff  into  a  deep  hole  at 
the  base  of  a  cliff,  and  Mrs.  Clauson  saw  him  swimming 
around  in  the  water.  She  waded  in  and,  seizing  the  brute  by 
both  ears,  forced  his  head  under  the  water  and  held  it  there 
until  Bruin  had  drowned.  It  has  been  called  Peggy's  Hole 
ever  since. 


HUMOROUS  AND  ROMANTIC  335 

The  Hermit  of  Bald  Mountain.6  "In  Yancey  county, 
visible  from  the  Roan,  and  forty-five  miles  from  Asheville,  is 
a  peak  known  as  Grier's  Bald,  named  in  memory  of  David 
Grier,  a  hermit,  who  lived  upon  it  for  thirty-two  years.  From 
posthumous  papers  of  Silas  McDowell,  we  learn  the  following 
facts  of  the  hermit's  singular  history.  A  native  of  South  Caro- 
lina, he  came  into  the  mountains  in  1798,  and  made  his  home 
with  Colonel  David  Vance,  whose  daughter  he  fell  in  love 
with.  His  suit  was  not  encouraged;  the  young  lady  was  mar- 
ried to  another,  and  Grier,  with  mind  evidently  crazed, 
plunged  into  the  wilderness.  This  was  in  1802.  On  reach- 
ing the  bald  summit  of  the  peak  which  bears  his  name,  he 
determined  to  erect  a  permanent  lodge  in  one  of  the  coves. 
He  built  a  log  house  and  cleared  a  tract  of  nine  acres,  sub- 
sisting in  the  meantime  by  hunting  and  on  a  portion  of  the 
$250  paid  him  by  Colonel  Vance  for  his  late  services.  He 
was  ^twenty  miles  from  a  habitation.  For  years  he  lived  un- 
disturbed; then  settlers  began  to  encroach  on  his  wild  domains. 
In  a  quarrel  about  some  of  his  real  or  imaginary  landed  rights, 
he  killed  a  man  named  Holland  Higgins.  At  the  trial  he  was 
cleared  on  the  ground  of  insanity,  and  returned  home  to  meet 
death  at  the  hands  of  one  of  Holland's  friends.  Grier  was  a 
man  of  strong  mind  and  fair  education.  After  killing  Higgins, 
he  published  a  pamphlet  in  justification  of  his  act,  and  sold 
it  on  the  streets.  He  left  papers  of  interest,  containing  his 
life's  record  and  views  of  life  in  general,  showing  that  he  was 
a  deist,  and  a  believer  in  the  right  of  every  man  to  take  the 
executive  power  of  the  law  into  his  own  hands." 

Old  Cataloochee  Stories.  Owing  to  the  fact  that  the 
late  Col.  Allen  T.  Davidson  spent  much  of  his  young  man- 
hood hunting  and  fishing  in  Cataloochee  valley,  much  of  its 
early  history  has  been  preserved.  From  him  it  was  learned 
that  years  ago  Zach  White  shot  a  deputy  sheriff  named  Ray- 
burn  when  Col.  Davidson  was  a  boy,  and  hid  near  a  big  rock 
in  a  little  flat  one  half  mile  above  the  late  Lafayette  Palmer's 
home,  where  for  years  Neddy  McFalls  and  Dick  Clark  fed 
him.  He  also  stayed  on  Shanty  branch  near  where  Har- 
rison Caldwell  now  lives.  This  branch  got  its  name  from  a 
shanty  or  shed  that  Old  Smart,  a  slave  of  Mitchell  David- 
son, built  there  while  he  tended  cattle  for  his  master  years 
before  any  white  people  ever  lived  in  that  vallej'.     The  cattle 


336        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

ranged  on  the  Bunk  mountain  and  on  Mount  Sterling,  and 
one  day  when  Neddy  McFalls  was  looking  for  them  to  salt 
them  he  could  not  find  a  trace  of  them  anywhere.  His  nick- 
name for  Col.  Davidson  was  Twitty.  Now  the  Round  Bunk 
mountain  stands  between  the  lefthand  fork  of  the  Little 
Cataloochee  and  Deep  Gap,  while  the  Long  branch  runs  from 
the  balsam  on  Mount  Sterling  and  between  the  headwaters 
of  Little  Cataloochee  and  Indian  creek.  It  was  on  the  Long 
Branch  that  Col.  Davidson  and  Neddy  McFalls  were  standing 
when  the  latter  put  his  hands  to  his  mouth  and  cried  out :  "Low, 
Dudley,  low!",  Dudley  being  the  name  of  the  bull  with  the 
herd  of  cattle;  and  almost  immediately  they  heard  Dudley 
from  the  top  of  Mount  Sterling  give  a  long,  loud  low,  and  they 
knew  that  their  cattle  were  found.  Richard  Clark  is  the  one 
who  gave  the  name  to  the  Bunk  mountain.7  Neddy  McFalls 
was  a  great  believer  in  witchcraft.  He  carried  a  rifle  that 
had  been  made  by  a  man  of  the  name  of  Gallaspie  on  the 
head  of  the  French  Broad  river,  while  Col.  Davidson's  gun 
was  known  as  the  Aaron  Price  gun.  Neddy  missed  a  fair  shot 
at  a  buck  one  day  and  nothing  could  persuade  him  from  leav- 
ing Cataloochee  and  traveling  miles  to  a  female  witch  doctor 
who  was  to  take  the  "spell"  off  his  gun.  Jim  Price  was  found 
dead  of  milk  sick  west  of  the  "Purchase,"  formerly  the  home 
of  John  L.  Ferguson  on  top  of  Cataloochee  mountain,  on 
another  branch,  also  known  as  the  Long  branch.  A  little  dog, 
stayed  with  the  body  and  attracted  the  searchers  to  it  by 
getting  on  a  foot-log  and  howling. 

It  was  said  that  the  Indians  had  killed  Neddy  McFalPs 
father  and  that  he  had  a  grudge  against  all  Indians  in  conse- 
quence. So  one  day  Neddy  and  Sam  McGaha  were  together 
and  saw  an  Indian  seated  on  a  log.  Neddy  told  McGaha 
that  the  triggers  on  his  rifle  were  "set,"  that  is  locked,  and 
asked  him  to  take  a  good  aim  at  the  Indian  just  for  fun.  Not 
knowing  that  the  triggers  were  really  "sprung,"  and  that 
the  slightest  touch  on  the  "hair-trigger"  would  fire  the  rifle, 
McGaha  did  as  he  was  asked,  with  the  result  that  the  Indian 
fell  dead.  It  is  said  that  Neddy  had  to  run  for  his  life  to  es- 
cape the  wrath  of  McGaha. 

Private  Wm.  Nicodemus.  An  Indian  named  Christie  lived 
on  the  site  of  the  present  town  of  Murphy,  and  a  ford  crossing 
Valley  river  between  the  two  bridges  of  the  present  day  was 


HUMOROUS  AND  ROMANTIC  337 


for  years  called  the  Christie  ford.  The  first  house  built  by  a 
white  man  in  Cherokee  county  was  a  large  two-story  log  house 
with  several  rooms,  erected  by  A.  R.  S.  Hunter,  originally  of 
Virginia,  but  who  moved  into  North  Carolina  from  Georgia. 
Its  furniture  was  of  mahogany  and  was  brought  by  Indians 
on  their  shoulders  from  Walhalla,  South  Carolina,  there  being 
no  wagon  roads  at  that  time.  Mr.  Hunter,  in  about  1838, 
built  a  better  house.  General  Wool  and  General  Winfield 
Scott  were  entertained  by  the  Hunters  during  the  time  of  the 
removal  of  the  Cherokees.  Several  of  the  United  States 
soldiers  engaged  in  that  heart-rending  process  died  and  were 
buried  near  this  old  residence ;  but  these  remains  were  removed 
in  1905  or  1906  to  the  National  cemetery  at  Marietta,  Georgia. 
On  one  of  the  old  headstones  a  single  name  is  yet  decipherable 
— that  of  Wm.  Nicodemus. 

Cupid  and  the  General's  Surgeon.  Fort  Butler  was  on 
a  hill  not  far  from  the  Hunter  home.  Mr.  Hunter  had  one 
child,  a  daughter,  who  married  Dr.  Charles  M.  Hitchcock,  a 
surgeon  on  Gen.  Wool's  staff  during  the  "Removal"  and  the 
Mexican  War.  They  afterwards  moved  to  California,  where 
they  acquired  many  valuable  lands  and  settled  at  San  Fran- 
cisco. They  had  one  child,  a  daughter,  Lily,  who  is  now  a 
Mrs.  Coit,  and  spends  much  of  her  time  in  Paris,  France. 
She  still  owns  all  the  lands  in  Cherokee  county  which  were 
acquired  by  her  grandfather,  Mr.  Hunter.  They  embrace 
all  the  land  between  the  Notla  and  the  Hiwassee,  the  "Mead- 
ows, "  on  the  head  of  Tallulah  creek  in  Graham  county,  and  land 
in  Murphy,  where  she  owns  a  house  near  the  west  end  of  the 
bridge  over  the  Hiwassee  river. 

A  Frightened  Entry-Taker.  The  Entry-Taker's  office 
was  opened  in  Murphy  on  the  last  of  March,  1842,  when  much 
excitement  prevailed,  as  it  was  strictly  a  case  of  "first  come, 
first  served."  It  is  said  that  so  eager  and  demonstrative  was 
the  crowd  that  Drewry  Weeks  became  alarmed  and  hid  him- 
self in  one  of  the  upstairs  rooms  of  the  old  jail,  and  that,  when 
he  was  finally  discovered,  the  rush  that  was  made  upon  him 
was  really  terrifying.  They  broke  out  the  window  lights 
with  their  fists  and  handed  or  threw  their  bundles  of  entries 
and  surveys  through  these  openings.  One  land-hungry  citi- 
zen, Stephen  Whitaker  by  name,  used  to  tell  how  he  climbed 
upon  the  shoulders  of  the  dense  crowd  of  men  who  were  packed 

W.  N.  C— 22 


338        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

in  front  of  the  window  of  the  jail  and  scrambled  and  crawled 
on  hands  and  knees  over  the  heads  of  those  who  were  so 
crowded  together  that  they  could  not  use  their  fists  upon  him, 
or  dislodge  him  by  allowing  him  to  drop  by  his  own  weight, 
till  he  reached  the  window  and  so  got  a  place  near  the  head 
of  the  list.  It  is  said,  however,  that  the  execrations  and 
maledictions — commonly  called  curses — which  were  hurled 
at  him  were  enough  to  damn  him  eternally,  if  mere  words 
could  accomplish  that  result. 

A  Strange  Dream.  Dr.  J.  E.  West  was  drowned  March 
19,  1881,  while  attempting  to  ford  the  Tuckaseegee  river  at 
the  Bear  Ford,  and  remained  in  the  water  about  two  weeks, 
when  Rachel  Grant,  a  poor  woman  whose  son  Dr.  West  had 
been  treating,  dreamed  that  he  came  to  her  and  on  seeing 
him  she  expressed  surprise  and  told  him  she  thought  that  he 
was  drowned.  He  told  her  that  he  was  and  wanted  to  tell 
her  where  to  direct  the  men,  when  they  came  to  search,  where 
to  find  his  body.  He  said  to  tell  them  to  get  into  the  canoe 
and  pole  toward  two  maples  on  the  opposite  side  and  when 
they  got  near  the  current  that  came  around  a  rock  to  put 
their  pole  down  and  they  would  find  him.  When  she  awoke 
in  the  moring  she  dressed  and  walked  up  to  the  landing  to  see 
if  it  looked  like  she  had  seen  it  while  dreaming.  She  was  so 
impressed  that  she  sat  and  waited  till  the  searching  party 
came,  to  whom  she  told  her  story.  Of  course,  some  were 
amused  while  a  few  had  faith  enough  to  follow  her  directions, 
and  when  they  did  so  found  the  body  in  the  precise  place  she 
had  pointed  out  to  them.  Mrs.  Grant  is  still  living  in  this 
county,  as  well  as  some  of  those  who  found  the  body.  It  had 
floated  about  one-half  mile.8 

The  Del,osia  "Mind."9  A  man  named  Edward  Delosia, 
of  Blount  county,  Tenn.,  claimed  to  have  discovered  a  gold 
mine  in  the  Smoky  mountains  years  before  the  Civil  War; 
and  it  is  said  that  he  left  a  "way  bill"  or  chart  telling  where 
it  might  be  found.  This  chart  located  it  at  some  point  from 
which  the  Little  Tennessee  river  could  be  seen  in  three  places 
coming  toward  the  observer  and  in  three  places  going  from 
the  observer.  No  such  place  has  ever  been  discovered,  though 
there  are  points  on  the  Gregory  and  Parsons  Balds  from  which 
the  river  can  be  seen  in  several  places.  It  was  said  that  De- 
losia claimed  he  had  cut  off  solid  "chunks"  of  gold  with  his 


HUMOROUS  AND  ROMANTIC  339 

hatchet.  Many  have  hunted  for  it,  and  many  more  will  con- 
tinue to  seek  it,  but  in  vain.  Many  others  had  and  still  have 
what  may  very  properly  be  termed  the  "Delosia  Mind,"  or 
the  belief  that  sooner  or  later  they  would  or  will  discover 
minerals  of  untold  value  in  these  mountains. 

A  Thrilling  Boat  Ride.  A  large  whale  boat  had  been 
built  at  Robbinsville  and  hauled  to  a  place  on  Snowbird  creek 
just  below  Ab.  Moody's,  where  it  was  put  into  the  creek,  and  it 
was  floated  down  that  creek  to  Cheoah  river  and  thence  to  John- 
son's post-office,  where  Pat  Jenkins  then  lived.  It  was  hauled 
from  there  by  wagon  to  Rocky  Point,  where,  in  April,  1893,  Cal- 
vin Lord,  Mike  Crise  and  Sam  McFalls,  lumbermen  working  for 
the  Belding  Lumber  Company,  got  into  it  and  started  down 
the  Little  Tennessee  on  a  "tide"  or  freshet.  No  one  ever  ex- 
pected to  see  them  alive  again.  But  they  survived.  By  catch- 
ing the  overhanging  branches  when  swept  toward  the  northern 
bank  at  the  mouth  of  the  Cheoah  river  the  crew  managed  to 
effect  a  landing,  where  they  spent  the  night.  They  started  again 
the  next  morning  at  daylight  and  got  to  Rabbit  branch,  where 
the  men  who  had  been  sent  to  hunt  them  found  them.  •  They 
spent  three  days  there  till  the  tide  subsided,  then  they  went 
on  to  the  Harden  farm,  which  they  reached  just  one  week 
after  leaving  Rocky  Point.  No  one  has  ever  attempted  this 
feat  since,  even  when  the  water  was  not  high.  The  boat  was 
afterwards  taken  on  to  Lenoir  City,  Tenn. 

A  Faithful  Dog.  Many  incidents  occurred  in  which  our 
pioneer  mothers  showed  grit  equal  to  that  of  their  intrepid 
husbands.  But  there  is  one  of  the  intelligence  and  faithful- 
ness of  a  dog  that  deserves  to  be  recorded. 

William  Sawyer,  one  of  the  pioneers  of  that  section,  was  liv- 
ing on  Hazel  creek,  near  where  the  famous  Adams- Westfeldt 
copper  lead  was  afterwards  found.  He  left  home  one  day  in 
1858,  when  there  was  what  the  natives  call  a  " little  blue  snow" 
covering  the  landscape,  taking  with  him  his  trusty  rifle  and 
his  trustier  dog.  Together  they  went  into  the  Bone  Valley, 
on  Bone  creek,  one  of  the  head  prongs  of  Hazel  creek,  and  so 
called  because  a  number  of  cattle  had  perished  there  from 
cold  several  years  before,  their  bleaching  bones  remaining 
as  a  reminder  of  the  blizzard  that  had  locked  everything  in  its 
icy  fingers  late  in  a  preceding  spring. 

William  Sawyer  killed  a  large  bear  and  proceeded  to  disem- 
bowel and  skin  him,  after  which  he  started  home  loaded  down 


340        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

with  bear  meat.  But  he  did  not  get  far  before  he  fell  dead  in  the 
trail.  The  dog  remained  with  him  till  after  midnight,  when, 
being  satisfied  that  his  master  was  dead,  he  left  the  cold  body 
in  the  woods  and  proceeded  back  home.  Arriving  there  just 
before  day,  the  faithful  animal  whined  and  scratched  on  the 
door  till  he  was  admitted.  Once  inside  the  cabin,  he  kept 
up  his  whining  and,  catching  the  skirts  of  Mrs.  Sawyer's  dress 
in  his  mouth,  tried  to  draw  her  to  the  door  and  outside  the 
house.  Quickly  divining  the  dog's  purpose  and  concluding 
that  he  was  trying  to  lead  her  to  her  husband,  she  summoned 
her  neighbors  and  followed.  She  soon  discovered  the  body 
of  her  husband,  cold  and  stiff. 

Aquilla  Rose.  This  picturesque  blockader  lives  at  the 
head  of  Eagle  creek  in  Swain  county.  Soon  after  the  Civil 
War  he  got  into  a  row  with  a  man  named  Rhodes  a  mile  be- 
low Bryson  City,  and  was  shot  through  the  body.  As  Rose 
fell,  however,  he  managed  to  cut  his  antagonist  with  a  knife, 
wounding  him  mortally.  After  this  he  went  to  Texas  and 
stayed  there  some  time,  returning  a  few  years  later  and  set- 
tling with  his  faithful  wife  at  his  present  home.  It  is  near 
the  Tennessee  line,  and  if  anyone  were  searching  for  an  inac- 
cessible place  at  that  time  he  could  not  have  improved  on 
Quil's  choice.  He  was  never  arrested  for  killing  Rhodes,  self- 
defence  being  too  evident.  In  1912  he  made  a  mistake  about 
feeding  some  swill  to  his  hogs  and  was  "haled  " — literally  hauled 
— before  Judge  Boyd  at  Asheville  on  a  charge  of  operating 
an  illicit  distillery  near  his  peaceful  home.  It  was  his  violation 
of  the  eleventh  commandment,  to  "never  get  ketched";  but 
Quil  was  getting  old  and  probably  needed  a  dram  earfy  in  the 
morning,  anyhow.  Judge  Boyd  was  merciful,  and  it  is  safe 
to  predict  that  Quil  will  keep  that  eleventh  commandment 
hereafter. 

The  Golden  City.  Wm.  H.  Herbert  owned  a  large  bound- 
ary of  land  in  Clay  which  had  been  entered  for  Dr.  David 
Christie  of  Cincinnati,  Ohio,  before  the  Civil  War,  say  about 
1857  or  1858,  the  warrants  having  been  issued  to  M.  L.  Brit- 
tain  and  J.  R.  Dyche,  who  assigned  them  to  Dr.  Christie. 
He  gave  bonds  to  the  State  in  1859  ;  but  the  Civil  War 
came  on  and  Dr.  Christie  returned  to  the  North,  and  failed 
to  pay  for  them.  On  February  27,  1865,  the  North  Carolina 
legislature  passed  an  act  authorizing  any  person  to  pay  for  these 


HUMOROUS  AND  ROMANTIC  341 


lands  and  take  grants  from  the  State  for  them.  Wm.  H.  Her- 
bert paid  what  was  due  on  Christie's  bonds  and  took  grants 
for  the  lands. 

He  then  sold  three  hundred  acres  (Grant  No.  2989)  to  Peter 
Eckels,  of  Cincinnati,  about  1870,  and  about  1874  Peter 
Eckels  divided  this  tract  into  lots  (on  paper  only)  calling  it 
The  Golden  City.  But  it  was  "Wild  Land"  on  Tusquittee 
mountain  at  the  head  of  Johnson  creek,  and  was  not  very  val- 
uable. He  sold  several  lots,  however,  to  people  in  Cincinnati 
and  years  afterwards  vain  attempts  were  made  to  locate  this 
Golden  City. 

A  Large  Heart.  For  several  years  after  the  Civil  War 
and  up  to  the  time  of  his  death  the  residence  of  the  late  John 
H.  Johnson  was  the  scene  of  much  hospitality.  The  lawyers 
hurried  through  court  duties  at  Murphy,  Robbinsville  and 
Hayesville  in  order  to  get  to  spend  as  much  time  as  possible 
beneath  his  roof.  It  was  at  a  certain  hospitable  house  in 
Clay  county  that  rose  leaves  were  scattered  between  the  mat- 
tresses and  the  sheets,  and  the  table  groaned  with  the  good 
things  provided  by  the  owner,  and  which  were  deliriously  served 
by  his  wife  and  five  charming  daughters.  One  love-sick  "limb  of 
the  law"  is  said  to  have  addressed  four  of  them  in  quick  succes- 
sion one  bright  Sabbath  day  in  the  early  seventies  only 
to  be  rejected  by  each  in  turn.  It  seems  that  these  sisters 
had  told  each  other  of  the  proposals  received,  and  that  the 
ardent  lover  had  sworn  that  he  loved  each  one  to  distraction. 
So,  when  he  made  this  declaration  to  the  fourth  and  youngest, 
she  asked  him  if  he  had  not  made  the  same  protestation  of 
love  and  devotion  to  her  three  elder  sisters.  He  promptly 
admitted  that  he  had.  When  she  asked  him  how  it  was  pos- 
sible for  him  to  love  four  girls  at  once,  he  solemnly  assured 
her  that  he  had  a  heart  as  big  as  a  horse  collar. 

Bruin  Meets  His  Fate.  It  is  a  well  authenticated  fact 
that  Mrs.  Norton,  then  living  in  Cashier's  Valley,  was  awak- 
ened one  night  while  her  husband  was  away  from  home,  by 
hearing  a  great  commotion  and  the  squealing  of  hogs  at  the 
hog-pen  near  by.  Her  children  were  small  and  there  was  no 
"man  pusson"  about  the  place.  The  night  was  cold  and 
she  had  no  time  to  clothe  herself,  but,  rushing  from  the  cabin 
in  her  night  dress  and  with  bare  feet,  she  snatched  an  axe 
from  the  wood-pile  and  hastening  to  the  hog-pen,  saw  a  large, 


342        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 

black  bear  in  the  act  of  killing  one  of  her  pet  "fattening  hogs." 
She  did  not  hesitate  an  instant,  but  went  on  and,  aiming  a 
well-directed  blow  at  Bruin's  cranium,  split  it  from  ears  to  chin 
and  so  had  bear  meat  for  breakfast  instead  of  furnishing  pork 
for  the  daring  marauder. 

Neddy  Davidson  and  "Granny"  Weiss.10  Old  Neddy- 
Davidson,  of  Davidson  river,  was  a  mulatto  who  lived  to  be 
very  old — some  claiming  that  he  was  116  years  of  age 
when  he  died.  He  was  given  his  freedom  by  his  master,  Ben 
Davidson,  and  afterwards  moved  to  Canada.  But  he  re- 
turned to  his  old  home  on  Davidson  river  before  his  death  and 
about  a  year  before  that  event  Judge  Shuford  went  to  his  house 
and  spent  half  the  day  with  him,  listening  to  his  stories  of 
old  times.  He  told  of  frequent  fights  at  the  Big  Musters  then 
common  in  this  section,  and  of  many  other  characters. 
Among  the  latter  was  a  man  named  Johnson  who  used  to  live 
on  Davidson  river  and  "settled"  what  is  now  known  as  the 
Old  Deaver  (locally  pronounced  Devver)  place.  Some- 
thing like  one  hundred  years  ago  a  cattle  buyer  named  Carson 
stopped  all  night  with  Johnson  and  discovered  the  following 
morning  that  all  his  money,  two  or  three  hundred  dollars, 
was  missing.  Having  no  reason  to  suspect  Johnson  or  his  fam- 
ily of  the  theft,  he  left  for  his  home.  Shortly  after  his  depart- 
ure Johnson  was  very  seriously  affected  with  gravel  and  sent 
for  an  old  woman  reputed  to  be  a  witch,  known  as  "Granny" 
Weiss  or  Weice.  She  lived  on  the  French  Broad  river,  near 
the  mouth  of  Davidson's  river.  On  her  way  to  attend  the 
sick  man  she  met  his  (Johnson's)  wife  carrying  a  lot  of  money. 
She  explained  to  Granny  Weiss  that  both  she  and  her  husband 
were  convinced  that  his  urinary  affliction  had  been  visited 
upon  him  because  he  had  taken  Carson's  money  and  that 
it  would  not  be  relieved  till  the  money  had  been  thrown  into 
the  French  Broad  river. 

A  Practical  "Witch."11  Well,  the  story  went,  that  if 
Granny  was  a  witch,  she  was  a  wise  and  good  one.  For  she 
immediately  put  her  veto  on  throwing  that  money  in  the 
French  Broad  river.  She  admitted  that  its  theft  from  Carson 
by  Johnson  was  the  real  cause  of  the  latter's  sickness;  but, 
insisted  that  instead  of  throwing  the  money  into  the  French 
Broad  the  proper  course  would  be  to  send  for  Carson,  its  true 
owner,  and  return  it  to  him.     This  was  done.     Carson  did 


HUMOROUS  AND  ROMANTIC  343 

not  prosecute  Johnson,  but  the  true  story  got  out  and  Johnson 
had  to  sell  his  place  and  move  away. 

A  Pathetic  Story.     Mr.  John  Lyon  of  Great  Britain  was 
an  assiduous  collector  of  our  plants,  and  was  probably  in  these 
mountains    prior    to    1802.      "He,    however,     spent    several 
years  there  at  a  subsequent  period,  and  died  at  Asheville  in 
September,     1814,     aged    forty-nine    years."     In    Riverside 
cemetery,  Asheville,  is  a  small  tombstone  bearing  the  follow- 
ing inscription:     "In  Memory  of  John  Lyon,  who  departed 
this  life  Sept.  14,  1814,  aged  49  years."     From  a  letter  writ- 
ten by  the  late  Silas  McDowell  of  Macon  county,  N.  C,  to 
Dr.  M.  A.  Curtis,  author  of  "Woody  Plants  of  North  Caro- 
lina," and  dated  October,  1877,  we  learn  that  Lyon  had  been 
"a  low,  thick-set,  small  man  of  fine  countenance,"  and  had 
come  from  Black  Mountain  in  the  early  autumn  of  1814,  sick; 
that  he  took  a  room  in  the  Eagle  hotel.     Also  that  for  two  sum- 
mers prior  to  that  time  he  had  been  seen  in  Asheville  by  Mr. 
McDowell.     Lyon  and  James  Johnston,   a  blacksmith  from 
Kentucky,  and  a  man  of  great  size,  had  become  friends.     So, 
when  Lyon  took  to  his  bed,  Johnston  had  a  bed  placed  in  the 
same  room  for  his  own  use,  and  attended  the  botanist  at 
night.     The  boy,  Silas  McDowell,  had  also  become  attached 
to  Mr.  Lyon,  and  on  the  day  of  his  death  had  gone  to  his 
room  earlier  than  usual.     "This  day  throughout  had  been 
one   of   those   clear   autumnal   days,"    continues   this   letter, 
"when  the  blue  heavens  look  so  transcendantly  pure!    but 
now  the  clay  was  drawing  fast  to  a  close,  the  sun  was  about 
sinking  behind  the  distant  blue  mountains,  its  rays  gleaming 
through  a  light  haze  of  fleecy  cloud  that  lay  motionless  upon 
the  western  horizon,  and  which  the  sun's  rays  were  changing 
to  that  bright  golden  tint  that  we  can  look  on  and  feel,  but 
can't   describe.     The   dying   man   caught   a   glimpse   of   the 
beautiful  scene  and  observed:      'Friend  Johnston,  we  are  hav- 
ing  a   beautiful   sunset— the   last   I   shall   ever   behold— will 
you  be  so  kind  as  to  take  me  to  the  window  and  let  me  look 
out?'      Johnston  carried  him  to  the  window,  took  a  seat  and 
held  the  dying  man  in  a  position  so  that  his  eyes  might  take 
in  the  beautiful  scene  before  him.     With  seraphic  look  he  gazed 
intently,    uttering   the    while    a   low   prayer — or    rather    the 
soul's    outburst    of    rapturous    adoration    and    praise.     After 
the  sun  sank  out  of  sight,  and  the  beautiful  scene  faded  out, 


344        HISTORY  OF  WESTERN  NORTH  CAROLINA 


he  exclaimed:  'Beautiful  world,  farewell!  Friend  Johnston, 
lay  me  down  upon  my  bed — I  feel  as  if  I  can  sleep — I  may 
not  awake — kiss  me  Johnston — now  farewell.'  He  fell 
asleep  in  a  short  time  and  soon  all  was  still.  All  of  John 
Lyon  that  was  mortal  was  dead." 

The  kind-hearted  blacksmith  left  Asheville  soon  afterward, 
but  soon  met  and  married  a  lady  of  property  in  Alabama, 
and  had  two  sons. x  2 

Soon  after  the  death  of  John  Lyon  friends  in  Edinburgh, 
Scotland,  sent  the  tombstone  that  now  marks  his  grave.  His 
grave  had  been  in  the  graveyard  of  the  First  Presbyterian 
church,  but  was  removed  to  Riverside  in  1878,  the  late  Col. 
Allen  T.  Davidson  and  Mr.  W.  S.  Cornell,  the  keeper  of  the 
cemetery,  bearing  the  expense. 

The  Judge,  the  Whistlers,  and  the  Geese.  Judge  J. 
M.  Cloud  of  Salem  rode  the  mountain  circuit  in  1871  and  in 
1872.  He  was  a  fearless  and  honest  man  whose  knowledge 
of  law  consisted  mainly  in  his  knowledge  of  human  nature,  and  in 
his  own  good  sense.  He  was  very  eccentric  and,  apparently, 
the  fiercest  and  sternest  of  jurists;  but  he  was  really  a  tender 
hearted  gentleman.  He  was  a  bachelor  and  affected  to  hate 
whistling  and  the  noise  of  geese  and  chickens;  but  he  himself 
could  shake  a  log  house  with  his  snoring.  He  was  very  fond 
of  boiled  sweet  corn.  On  one  occasion  one  of  the  lawyers 
who  arrived  at  a  certain  noted  hostelry  at  Valley  Town  in 
advance  of  the  Judge  told  the  landlady  that  his  Honor  had  sent 
word  by  him  to  be  sure  to  save  him  for  supper  twelve 
ears  of  corn  and  three  bundles  of  fodder,  the  usual  "feed" 
for  a  horse  !  Judge  Cloud  never  forgave  this  joke.  When 
he  got  to  Asheville,  several  of  the  most  mischievious 
young  men  serenaded  him  with  sweet  music  at  first 
and  then  with  cat-mewing,  tin  pans  and  cow  bells.  One 
of  their  number,  Mr.  Samuel  G.  Weldon,  made  the  others 
believe  that  the  Judge  had  issued  a  bench  warrant  for  their 
arrest  for  contempt  of  court,  and  two  of  them  left  town  pre- 
cipitately. 

When  the  Judge  got  to  Bakersville  he  was  annoyed  by  a 
gang  of  geese  which  prowled  the  streets  around  the  court 
house  and  hissed — hissed — hissed.  Judge  Cloud  called  the 
sheriff  and  ordered  him  to  kill  the  geese.  The  sheriff  told 
Stokes  Penland,  now  living  at  Pinola,  to  shut  the  geese  up 
in  a  barn  till  the  judge  left  town.     Stokes,  a  mere  boy  then, 


HUMOROUS  AND  ROMANTIC  345 

did  so.  When  court  "broke,"  as  final  adjournment  is  called, 
the  sheriff  presented  his  bill  for  $12.  "What  is  this  for?" 
fiercely  demanded  the  judge.  "For  the  twelve  geese  you 
ordered  me  to  kill,"  answered  the  sheriff.  "Show  me  their 
dead  bodies,"  returned  the  Judge  "or  I'll  not  pay  one  cent." 
The  sheriff  called  up  Stokes,  thinking  he  would  carry  out  the 
joke  and  pretend  that  he  had  actually  killed  the  geese.  But 
he  had  failed  to  tell  the  boy  what  was  expected  of  him.  So 
he  asked  him:  "What  did  you  do  with  those  twelve  geese 
the  judge  told  me  to  have  killed?"  "I  shut  them  up  in  the 
barn,  and  they  are  there  yet,"  was  the  surprising  but  truthful 
answer.  At  another  court,  however,  that  at  Marshall,  the 
geese  had  really  been  killed  and  the  judge  was  forced  to  pay 
for  them,  willy  nilly. 

An  Asheville  Poo  Bah.  In  a  municipal  campaign  in  1874, 
while  the  late  Albert  T.  Summey  was  mayor,  he  was  opposed 
for  re-election  by  the  late  Col.  John  A.  Fagg,  who  declared 
in